June 19, 2024

Does Surgery Increase Workers’ Comp Settlement?

When an employee suffers a workplace injury that requires surgery, it often leads to a significant increase in the workers' compensation settlement amount. This increase is due to several factors, including higher medical expenses, extended recovery periods, and the severity of the injury, all of which are critical considerations in determining the settlement amount.

Understanding Workers' Compensation Settlements

A workers' compensation settlement is designed to cover various costs and losses incurred due to a work-related injury. These include:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for all medical treatments related to the injury, including surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for the income lost during the recovery period.
  • Disability Benefits: Payments for any temporary or permanent disabilities resulting from the injury.
  • Retraining Costs: If the injury prevents returning to the previous job, the settlement may include funds for vocational retraining.
  • Legal Expenses: Legal fees incurred while pursuing the claim.

The Role of Surgery in Workers' Comp Settlements

  • Increased Medical Costs: Surgeries are typically expensive, covering not just the operation but also pre- and post-operative care. These increased medical expenses can lead to a higher settlement amount to ensure all costs are covered.
  • Extended Recovery Time: Surgery often means a longer recovery period compared to non-surgical treatments. This extended time away from work results in higher compensation for lost wages.
  • Severity of Injury: The need for surgery usually indicates a severe injury, which can increase the compensation for pain and suffering as well as long-term disability.
  • Future Medical Care: After surgery, there may be a need for ongoing medical care or additional surgeries, which must be factored into the settlement to cover future costs.

Factors Influencing Workers' Comp Settlements

Several factors influence the final amount of a workers' compensation settlement. One of the most critical factors is the nature and severity of the injury. More severe injuries, especially those that necessitate surgery, usually result in higher settlements. This is because severe injuries typically lead to greater medical expenses, longer recovery periods, and possibly more significant impacts on the worker's overall health and ability to function.

Another significant factor is the impact of the injury on the worker's employment. If the injury and the subsequent surgery significantly impair the worker's ability to return to their job, the settlement amount is likely to be higher. This higher settlement compensates for the loss of earning capacity. For instance, if the injury forces the worker to take a lower-paying job or leaves them unable to work altogether, the compensation will reflect this loss of income. Therefore, both the severity of the injury and its impact on employment are crucial in determining the final settlement amount.

Maximizing Your Workers' Comp Settlement

  1. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, surgeries, and follow-up care. This documentation is crucial for proving the extent of your injuries and the costs incurred.
  2. Follow Medical Advice: Adhering to your doctor’s recommendations and attending all follow-up appointments can demonstrate your commitment to recovery and support your case for compensation.
  3. Consult a Workers' Comp Attorney: An experienced attorney can help navigate the complexities of the workers' comp system, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure that you receive a fair settlement. Shultz Legal, for instance, specializes in workers' compensation cases and can provide expert guidance throughout the process.
  4. Consider Future Costs: Ensure that your settlement accounts for not only your immediate medical expenses and lost wages but also any future costs related to your injury, such as additional surgeries or long-term rehabilitation.

Legal Considerations and State Laws

Understanding Maryland Workers' Comp Laws: Maryland's Workers' Compensation Law mandates that nearly every employer must provide workers' compensation insurance. This insurance covers the costs associated with employee injuries sustained on the job, regardless of fault. The amount of compensation awarded depends on the severity of the injury and includes benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disabilities.

FAQs

Does Surgery Guarantee a Higher Workers' Comp Settlement?

Not necessarily. While surgery can increase the medical expenses portion of the settlement, other factors like the overall impact on your ability to work, state laws, and the specifics of your case also play significant roles.

How is Future Medical Care Considered in the Settlement?

Future medical care, including potential additional surgeries and long-term treatment, is factored into the settlement to ensure that you are covered for all ongoing medical needs resulting from the injury.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and Why is it Important?

MMI is the stage where your condition is stable and unlikely to improve further. Settling your claim after reaching MMI ensures that all medical expenses and long-term impacts are accurately accounted for in the settlement.

Need Representation?

If you’ve been injured at work and require surgery, don’t navigate the complexities of workers' compensation alone. At Shultz Legal, our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us guide you through the workers' compensation process, providing the support and expertise you need to achieve a favorable outcome for your case. Your recovery starts with a call to Shultz Legal.