Whether or not surgery increases your workers’ comp settlement depends on the specifics of your case. However, if your injury is serious enough to require surgery, you may qualify for more money than you would have received if you did not need surgery.
A workers’ compensation attorney can review your case and help you determine whether or not your surgery will affect your settlement.
In This Article
Why Might Surgery Increase Workers’ Comp Settlements?
Surgery is often an expensive procedure that requires a hospital stay and considerable follow-up care (physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, etc.). If your injury is severe, you may need multiple surgeries. If the surgery involved amputation, you may have to pay for prosthetics for the rest of your life.
Extensive medical care increases your overall medical costs and, therefore, how much you can receive in workers’ compensation.
In addition, injuries that are serious enough to require surgery may cost you more in other areas, including:
- Lost wages: Your doctor will probably recommend spending a certain amount of time away from work to recuperate post-surgery. You may then have to ease back into a normal routine by starting with light-duty or part-time work.
- Disability: A serious injury can leave you temporarily or permanently unable to do many things you used to do. The more severe the injury, the more you can potentially collect in workers’ compensation.
- Scarring: Both the injury itself and necessary surgeries can leave you with permanent marks or scar tissue. These marks can cause pain, affect your appearance, or restrict your range of motion.
Ultimately, whether or not your surgery increases your workers’ comp settlement is a matter for you, your attorney, your employer, and your employer’s insurance company to determine.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
What Goes Into Workers’ Comp Settlements?
Every case is unique, so every applicant will receive a different settlement amount based on qualifying factors. The amount you can receive in workers’ compensation depends on:
- Whether your employer is legally required to carry workers’ comp insurance
- How severe your injury is
- How much time you have to take off work
- How many different treatments you need to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
Workers’ compensation insurance covers most medical expenses for injured workers. Per the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) and the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), your employer or their insurer will select a doctor for you to visit. Assuming your claim is approved, the doctor will bill the insurer for your medical expenses, including surgical costs, as necessary.
Wrongful Death and Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation insurance also includes wrongful death benefits for the survivors of workers who succumbed to workplace injuries. If your loved one did not pass away immediately and lived long enough to receive surgery and other treatment, you may be able to collect both medical and death benefits.
Again, the settlement amount you receive depends on the specifics of your case. In wrongful death cases, your settlement may also depend on whether the deceased already received compensation for their injury before they died; if they did, your settlement amount will likely be lower.
How Can I Get a Workers’ Comp Settlement?
If you were injured while working a job with workers’ compensation benefits, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file your claim. They can guide you through the following steps and even do most of the work themselves while you focus on your recovery:
- A free case review: Many firms are happy to tell you if you have a viable case at no cost or obligation.
- Evidence collection: Your lawyer can gather documents and statements from various sources to support the position that you need and deserve compensation.
- Claim submission: You have a limited time to report your injury to your employer and ensure they file a claim with their insurer. Your attorney can tell you about these deadlines and ensure you file everything on time.
- Mediation: If your employer or their insurer disagrees with any part of your claim, you may be given the option of sitting down with a mediator. Your lawyer can try to help you and the insurer come to a quick agreement.
- Meeting with the insurer: If mediation is unsuccessful, you can let your attorney meet with the insurer’s representatives to negotiate for a fair settlement.
Get Advice on Your Workers’ Comp Case
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC serves workers’ compensation clients in North and South Carolina. To find out if your surgery may increase your workers’ comp settlement, get in touch with us as soon as possible. We would be happy to tell you more about what goes into workers’ comp settlements and what you may qualify to receive.