A workplace injury throws so many things off balance in a person’s life. Your routine of going to work, performing your job duties, earning a paycheck and taking financial care of your family has been disrupted.
If that is not enough, your injury may be severe enough that you will need surgery. Should you pursue surgery before or after filing for workers’ compensation benefits? There is no easy answer, but you should understand that you need to weigh some important factors when making this decision.
Let us look at the settling-before-surgery route first.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company wants to save money, so it may try to settle as soon as possible. A hasty offer from the insurance company may even come before you even considered surgery or even saw a medical provider.
Granted, the temptation may be there to accept this early offer as it likely represents a significant amount of money. However, this scenario should make you stop and think carefully. Once you have accepted that settlement, typically, you cannot seek additional money, even when the injuries proved more severe than originally thought.
And what if you really needed surgery? As a result of your decision, you now possess a monetary settlement that may not even cover the costs of surgery that you need after all. On top of that, you could expect a lengthy recovery and the possibility of additional surgery.
Financial struggles may be on the horizon.
Considering a settlement after surgery has its advantages.
In this situation, you have a better chance of knowing the necessary medical treatment and your recovery time. Armed with this knowledge, you may have better control over negotiating a settlement with your employer’s insurance company.
However, before you accept any settlement offer, you want to firmly know that this settlement covers all future medical expenses stemming from the workplace incident.
Seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney
This is not an easy decision to make, especially on your own. If you find yourself in this situation, seek the advice of a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney will carefully explain your options as well as the advantages and drawbacks of settling before or after surgery.