When Will Workers Comp Offer Me A Settlement?

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When will the worker's compensation insurance company offer me a settlement?

That depends on the details of your case. On average, the time from filing your claim to getting paid in a final settlement award is around 12 to 18 months.

But at what point during the process can you expect to receive your settlement offer? How do you know when it's the right time to settle? And how do you make sure you're not getting ripped off by the insurance company? We're going to answer all those questions right now!

My name is Rex Zachofsky and I became a New York workers compensation lawyer 17 years ago after getting injured on the job.If you're looking for a lawyer to help you with your claim for New York State workers compensation benefits, please give me a call at 212-406-8989 to schedule a free consultation.

You Can Offer To Settle Any Time!

When it comes to settling your case, the fact of the matter is that you could settle your case at any time.

You and your lawyer can draft a demand letter any time you want with the settlement amount you're looking for. And if you send the demand letter early on in your case, the insurance company might just take you up on it. But does that mean you should break out the pen and paper and start drafting a letter right now? Not necessarily!

If you're submitting a demand early in your case, there's a good chance you've undervalued your claim. Why? Because you probably don't yet understand all the factors that make your case valuable, such as:

  • the severity of your injury
  • how long you will remain disabled
  • your expected future medical costs
  • the extent of any permanent disability
  • future lost wages
  • future job opportunities
  • and any job retraining that you might need.

Submitting a settlement demand to the insurance company before you understand each of these runs the risk of selling your case short, which the insurance company will love, because then they get to pay you less money.

Instead, it's usually a better strategy to wait until you're close to reaching maximum medical improvement or MMI before trying to settle your case. MMI is when your condition is stabilized and further medical treatment is not expected to significantly improve it. Before this point, it's impossible to know how much more your injury will heal or how much care you'll need to get there.

You'll also want to know your disability rating or future loss and wage earning capacity so any demand you make will likely either undervalue your case, which the insurance company will accept, or overvalue it, which they will deny outright. That said, if you have urgent financial pressure or just want to get out of the worker's compensation system completely, you can, of course, settle before you reach MMI. Just know that any settlement amount you agree to could be less than what you're entitled to.

When Will Insurance Offer To Settle?

When will the workers comp insurance company send you a settlement offer? It could be weeks, months, or even years into your claim, depending on the circumstances.

Some insurance companies will reach out right away and make a settlement offer, acting as though they're looking out for your best interest when in reality they're trying to get you to accept a low offer before you get a chance to calculate the future costs or hire a worker's compensation lawyer.

Others might wait and see if they can avoid your expensive medical request, which will allow them to settle for less money. Some will even intentionally wait just to see if you start feeling anxious and eventually agree to a small settlement amount. Whatever their strategy may be, one thing is as certain as death and taxes: that they are trying to pay you as little as they can.

Insurance companies are businesses, and their goal is to maximize their bottom line. They stay in business by taking in more money and paying out less. So don't be so eager to settle that you end up accepting a bad offer to get a better idea of when you might be able to expect a settlement offer to come through. You need to look at your case from the perspective of the insurance company.

There are almost always interested in settling, especially before you reach MMI, and discover how much your case might be worth. As I explained in my other video, Five Tips to Negotiate a Big Worker's Compensation Settlement, most people don't receive the full value of the case when they settle, which means the insurance company saves money every time they do so. They also don't want your case to go to court because it's expensive for them to hire a lawyer and pay all the associated costs.

Some of the reasons the insurance company might send you an offer sooner rather than later include:

  • If your doctor says that you don't require surgery
  • if there's a risk of your condition worsening
  • if the condition is severe and they want to avoid long term disability benefits or ongoing medical treatment
  • if they want something from you like signing a non-disclosure agreement
  • or if they think you're anxious and will take a lowball offer

Some of the reasons why they might wait before sending you a settlement offer include

  • if they think your request for surgery might get denied
  • if they dispute the validity of your claim
  • if they need more time to investigate and gather evidence
  • Or if they think holding out will make you more desperate.

They also might just be one of those insurance companies that fights for every penny. Unfortunately, a lot of employers are drawn to these types of insurance companies because oftentimes they tend to have lower premiums.

Regardless of whether you receive an offer sooner or later, one thing is certain: You need to be ready to negotiate. I can't remember a single initial offer that was acceptable and have almost always had to negotiate on behalf of my clients in order to get a settlement that they deserve.

As a result, I consistently put more money in their pocket than they would otherwise have gotten if they tried to negotiate on their own. When an insurance company sees that you're not represented by a lawyer, they know they'll be able to persuade you to accept a lowball offer.

So if you or a loved one have been injured on the job here in New York State and you'd like to set up a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can expertly negotiate the biggest settlement possible, give me a call today at 212-406-8989. Our conversation is confidential. It costs you nothing and could potentially get you thousands more in benefits than you otherwise would receive.

And whether you're determined to negotiate on your own or you plan on getting the help of a worker's compensation lawyer, you should watch my video explaining how to negotiate a big worker's compensation settlement. In it, I share five tips you need to know in order to make sure the insurance company doesn't take advantage of you. One of them can, even when you a settlement worth more than the standard value of your claim. So you don't want to miss it.

I'll include a link to that video here. Click to watch it now and I'll see you there.


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