Showing posts with label Workers' compensation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Workers' compensation. Show all posts

Thursday, January 7, 2021

4 Ways to Recoup Finances After an Accident or Injury

After an accident, you should never waste time thinking about what you could've done differently. Immediately is when you should act on recovering the finances that you've lost by missing work, paying medical bills, or repairing damaged property. Consider 4 common methods to stay afloat financially after an accident or injury occurs.

Develop a Budget

Developing a proper budget is a skill that begins in young adult years. You may already have a budget but need to develop a stricter one after an accident occurs and the bills pile up. Start by tracking your expenses and cutting out unnecessary payments or delaying them indefinitely.

File a Workers' Compensation Claim

If the incident occurs at work, you have the right to recover damages from your employer, according to workers compensation law. Report the accident to your employer immediately and file a workers' compensation claim using detailed, accurate information. 

Receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitation fees to treat a temporary or permanent disability.

File a Personal Injury Case

If workers' comp does not provide full coverage, file a personal injury lawsuit using the help of a lawyer. Collect as much evidence as possible that your injury was caused by the accident. The fate of your case is determined solely by the validity of your evidence. 

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is recommended, and many providers provide affordable payment options for their clients. Overall, the process of filing a lawsuit may take longer than other methods, but your compensation is usually higher.

Sell Belongings

Choose still-valuable items in your home and sell them. Determine their actual value and find out the average prices that other people are selling the same items for. If you don't determine the right prices, you won't succeed in making any sale. 

Also know that some items, due to old age and depreciation, are not valuable at all and must be donated or discarded. You have the option to sell your items on online classified ads websites, yard sales, or pawn shops, or consignment stores.

An accident, injury, or disability does not have to claim your finances so you'll never get them back. Know your recovery options, whether you were injured at work or in a public building, and act in a timely manner. Last, develop a long-lasting, emergency plan to prevent a disaster and recover your finances faster if a worse problem happens.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Protecting Your Income After an Accident

Protecting your income after an accident should be one of your top priorities aside from getting better. If you were deemed at fault for the accident, you could be paying for your own injuries as well as the injuries suffered by others. If you are not at fault for the accident, you could still see your finances jeopardized due to lost wages and a settlement payment that may not arrive for months or years after the accident. 

Settle the Case as Soon as Possible

It is in your best interest to settle the case as soon as possible. While you don't want to take a deal that isn't to your benefit, you want to find a personal injury lawyer who can help you get your case settled within weeks or months.

Until your case is settled, you should talk to your creditors about alternate payment arrangements that may be available to you. It may be possible to defer or push back payments until your case has been settled. A debt settlement may also be a possibility to help you pay your bills without draining your savings account completely.

Keep in mind that if you settle your case, you can keep most or all of that money without having to pay taxes on it. Although you should consult a tax attorney or an accountant before determining how to treat any award you receive, it is good to know that you can be made whole without having to worry about the government making things even harder on you.

Make Your Insurance Company Pay Everything That it is Obligated to Pay

Your insurance company should be forced to pay everything that it is obligated to pay under your policy. However, you should be aware that your insurance company is going to take steps to pay as little as possible. The insurance company may try to claim that you were acting recklessly or in bad faith when the accident occurs.

Those who live in a state that has no fault laws, you will be going after your own insurance company for compensation whether you were at fault for the accident or not. If you were hurt at work, the insurance company representing your employer may attempt to stonewall as well. This is where workers compensation lawyers can help you get everything that you are entitled to.

Have an Asset Protection Plan Before an Accident Occurs

It is said that the best offense is a good defense. In an accident case, having an asset protection plan can overcome what even the best workers compensation lawyers or other attorneys can throw at you.

If you are at fault for an accident and don't have sufficient insurance, having your property or cash in the hands of a trust or a LLC could keep a victim from getting too much of your personal property.

However, be aware that some or all of your protected property could still be liquidated or handed over to anyone who is suing you related to injuries suffered in an accident that you caused. Your lawyer will most likely try to shield your assets in a settlement in exchange for some other form of compensation.

If you are the victim of a car crash or a slip and fall accident, you have the right to have your case heard without worrying about losing everything before the case is settled. Those who cause accidents can settle their cases in an equitable manner without having to live in poverty if they carefully plan for it. The key is to work with your personal injury lawyer and other legal counsel to determine the best course of action in your particular case. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

How Health Care Reform Could Change Workers’ Compensation

Ever since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, there has been much speculation about how the new laws will change the face of health care in the United States. Much of the attention has focused on the new requirements for individuals to carry health insurance coverage and the impact that will have on employers. 

However, health insurance isn’t the only type of insurance coverage that will be impacted by the new laws. The expanded health care coverage regulations are also expected to affect workers’ compensation insurance. How those effects will play out remain to be seen, but there is speculation that there will be significant decreases — and potential increases — to workers’ compensation costs.

Better Health Care, Fewer Injuries, Lower Costs

Each year, there are millions of workers’ compensation claims filed, costing employers — and hospitals — billions. However, according to researchers, not all of those claims are actually due to work-related injuries. In many cases, employees without adequate insurance coverage would use their workers’ compensation coverage to pay for treatment for pre-existing conditions or injuries. Under the new health care law, the individual mandate requires that everyone carry at least basic health insurance coverage. This means that people may be more likely to seek treatment for illness and chronic conditions via their regular insurance coverage, and not file a workers’ comp claim — thereby lowering the cost for workers’ compensation.

However, and perhaps more importantly, experts predict that the actual number of on-the-job illnesses and injuries will actually decrease thanks to the PPACA. Because employees will have better access to health care, particularly preventive care and chronic condition management, they will be healthier overall. While conditions like obesity and diabetes or behaviors like smoking are not generally the specific cause of a workplace injury, they often contribute to the severity of the injury or illness, thereby increasing costs. Ideally, the PPACA will improve overall health, and reduce overall costs.

Cost Shifting

While many people believe that the PPACA will lower the costs of caring for sick or injured employees, others predict that the new laws will only shift the costs to different payers. When employees have adequate health coverage, they may be more likely to simply use that insurance to cover their expenses, rather than make a workers’ comp claim and endure the scrutiny and red tape that often ensues. So while specific workers’ comp claims will decrease, the overall costs for health care will remain flat, or even increase, as those who would not have sought treatment previously, now do so.

Changes to Medicare reimbursement rates could also impact workers’ compensation once the law goes into effect. On the surface, because hospitals will no longer have to bear the significant burden of covering free or reduced care for low-income patients without health coverage, they won’t have to bill workers’ compensation insurance as aggressively as they do now. However, because workers’ compensation rates are tied to Medicare reimbursement rates — which are perpetually on the chopping block — there may be little difference in how hospitals bill workers’ comp, and they may actually increase the charges to workers’ compensation insurance to make up for shortfalls.

Claim Process Changes

Because cost containment is one of the primary goals of the PPACA (watch an informative video about the act here), certain changes to how claims are processed and managed are predicted to help manage costs. Because the new laws call for better care coordination and standardized reporting, the overhead costs of managing and processing claims should decrease. In addition, many states are enacting new laws calling for mediation, rather than litigation, in workers’ compensation dispute cases. Mediation will reduce the length of time it takes to process claims — and potentially get employees back to work sooner — and also potentially help reduce claim payments.

Again, there is much speculation about how the PPACA will affect workers’ compensation coverage and claims, and only one thing is certain: There will be changes. Employers who are navigating the new landscape of health care reform should seek more information to understand how the changes will impact them and how they can best position themselves to make a seamless and affordable transition to the new health care landscape.

About the Author: Eleanor Harpswell is the benefits and compensation manager for a New England–based manufacturing firm. A former insurance professional, she contributes to several industry publications, offering insight and analysis into issues related to managing employee insurance coverage.

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