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  • Cardamone Law- The Official
    Partner of the American Worker

    Cardamone Law- The Official
    Partner of the American Worker

    Can I Get a Settlement from Workers’ Compensation If I Return to Work After My Injury?

    Yes it is still possible. Here is one scenario: Perhaps you are back to work with the same employer after your injury. But you’re working light duty or with some type of restrictions due to the work injury. The Employer may start running out of light duty work and the insurer may be nervous about you being put back on TTD- Temporary Total Disability- where you get a full work comp check. Or, perhaps your time of injury employer didn’t have any work after your injury to accommodate your restrictions from the doctor. Then you return to work somewhere else, but start making less than your pre- injury wages. The insurer may get sick of paying partial work comp checks (2/3 of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly wage, and the post injury weekly gross earnings). Like the first scenario, the insurer may want to try to buy your claim in exchange for a release of all liability. These are just a few of the scenarios where Workers’ Compensation may want to settle your case even if you have returned to work after your work injury.

    How is the Settlement Accomplished?

    Normally, in Pennsylvania, the settlements are accomplished via Compromise & Release Agreement. The parties spell out the deal in this document and a hearing is held so that a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judge can hear brief testimony, to decide whether the injured worker understands the full legal significance of the Compromise & Release Agreement. At this hearing, the injured worker is asked a host of questions such as “did you read this Agreement?, did you sign it?, did you enter into it voluntarily?, you’re going to receive X amount of dollars to settle your case, correct?” etc. Sometimes the parties can enter into a Stipulation where they resolve some issues, but don’t close down the entire case. A Stipulation must also be approved by a Workers’ Compensation Judge, and the Judge will issue a Decision approving it. Beware- if your case is in litigation, and you don’t settle, you are leaving your case in the Judge’s hands. The good news with our firm is that we win at a very high rate. But that doesn’t guarantee a victory in every single situation. To settle means both sides have to compromise. So don’t go into negotiations thinking you’re going to get everything you want. It doesn’t work that way. Each side has to give up some things to make a deal happen.

    It’s Critical To Hire a Certified Pennsylvania Work Comp Specialist

    Remember to hire a Certified Pennsylvania Work Comp Specialist Lawyer– not a jack of all trades. There are only about 100 lawyers across Pennsylvania who focus their practice on helping injured workers and who are Certified by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court! Even if you return to work, the claim isn’t over. You may be working at regular pre injury wages, or even greater, after a work-related injury, and the insurer may still want to try to offer money to settle. Why? Your medical benefits have value and the insurers like to close out their files completely. Now, the truth is, the wage loss part of a case is what yields the greatest value in most cases, but still, the medical exposure can entice the adjustor for your case, to want to offer money to close it down. Importantly, many lawyers who don’t handle Workers’ Comp cases on a daily basis, will often forget about Specific Loss benefits- if you had a work-related neck surgery, did you know you can get extra money for the scarring, if certain elements are met? This is why you want a Certified Specialist- to maximize your case.

    Ask Your Attorney What Your Case is Worth- Not a Friend!

    Also, it’s important to remember that every case has its own value. And, you’ll net much more money with an experienced Pennsylvania Work Comp Lawyer fighting for you. Those who do it alone make so many mistakes and lose money. You pay us nothing from your pocket. It’s a contingent fee system meaning we only get 20% of what we obtain for you and most injured workers will triple their money with an attorney negotiating for them. Don’t look to a neighbor and ask what they settled for. Your case will have its own value based on many factors. We often hear this:
    “But my neighbor got $225,000″ in his case so why is my case value in the $100,000 range?” You’re simply wasting time by comparing your case to theirs when there are so many differences. And while we encourage clients to do research, it’s often the case that they have the wrong state, or wrong section of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, when trying to make a point. Trust in your lawyer- this is what we do every day. We’re on the same team and want what’s in YOUR best interest.

    What’s the Value of My Pennsylvania Workers Comp Case?

    Some of the factors that determine the value of a Pennsylvania Work Comp case are:

    -Claimant’s age
    -Extent of injury/disability
    -How far in school they went
    -Whether surgery is needed
    -Average Weekly Wage of the Claimant
    -Vocational background and skills
    -If in litigation, who the Judge is, who the IME doctor is, the treating doctor, etc

    There are many more factors- therse are just a few. But the bottom line is that yes, the insurers are almost always interested in settling a Pennsylvania Work Comp case. Just don’t be foolish and negotiate your loss of earning power, and/or the value of future medical treatment, on your own. Call us (215) 206-9068 7 days a week to get a free consult on your case. We are a rare firm in Pennsylvania that focuses 100% on Workers’ Compensation for injured workers. We have your back.

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