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Trying to heal from an injury sustained at work is often a nerve-wracking process because you want to support your family but you also need time to fully recuperate. Sometimes insurance carriers are quick to offer a settlement but it isn’t the best deal for you. You may need to reach out to a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney to know your rights and make a good decision.

When to Consider Challenging Your Workers’ Comp Offer 

Insurance carriers often try to “lowball” workers who do not have legal representation. There are a number of “red flags” to look out for when reviewing your settlement offer. 

  • Did the insuror accept the first offer, without argument? It may be too low. The insurance company may expect you to come back asking for a higher number so that there can be some negotiations.
  • Is everything included? Lost wages and future medical costs?
  • Were some of your claims dismissed or ignored? 
  • Is the insurance company claiming your injury was due to a pre-existing condition? That is how they justify a lowball offer. 
  • Sometimes medicals are just ignored, do you see that happening?

Remember that the insurance carrier wants your case settled quickly because they don’t want to pay. You have to look out for your interests. You need time to heal. You don’t want to re-injure yourself by going back to work too quickly. An attorney who has handled many kinds of work comp cases will know how to argue your case to your best advantage. 

Before You Sign Any Workers’ Comp Settlement Offer

Settlement offers can be tricky. If your permanent partial disability is more than 10% you will definitely want an attorney to represent you in negotiations. There are two important things to ask before you sign any agreement:

  • Is there a provision that the claim will be permanently closed? Could it be reopened if more medical payments are needed?
  • If you’ve received advances already, are those amounts part of the settlement amount?

The actual wording of the settlement is critical. If you think you might want to file for Social Security disability benefits, for example, you might get less because of the workers’ comp settlement.

What Happens if You Don’t Sign the Offer?

If you don’t sign the settlement offer there will be a hearing in front of a judge. If you do not have an attorney the judge will try to explain what’s in the offer so that you can get the maximum benefit. Unfortunately, the judge doesn’t know your entire medical history. That’s another reason why having an attorney on your side is beneficial.

Accessing Support From a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you go on the website for the Georgia State Board of Worker’s Compensation you will see that there are many steps to ensuring a smooth settlement process. Ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve and your rights are protected should ideally be handled by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. We understand how to maximize your settlement so it really works for you and your family. Contact us today.