You may need to know the value of a workers’ comp nerve damage settlement if you or a loved one suffered a work-related injury that caused nerve damage. It is hard to determine the actual amount of a workers’ comp nerve damage settlement in Chicago, Illinois, because each case is unique. Consequently, each settlement may vary depending on the specifics of your case.
Your workers’ comp nerve damage settlement will depend on the type and severity of the injury you suffered and the costs you incurred due to the injury. It will also depend on whether you are pursuing the claim alone or with the support of an attorney. The settlement will cover your treatment costs, lost wages/future earning potential, and ongoing care needs. The common types of nerve damage covered by this compensation claim include nerve tears, bruises, or compression.
Workers’ Compensation Nerve Damage Settlements
Settlement amounts for workers’ comp cases involving nerve damage vary with the type of injury, body part affected, and pain levels. The settlement offers medical benefits and wage replacement to workers who suffer nerve damage after getting injured or sick while performing their work duties. Eligible workers may receive a settlement offer anytime in the life of the case.
A workers’ comp settlement helps eliminate the need for litigation. As such, you will give up your right to sue your employer in exchange for a settlement, making it important to discuss settlement offers with your workers’ compensation lawyer.
Types of Nerve Damage Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
A nerve injury impacts the brain’s ability to relay information between different brain sections and between the brain and the rest of the body. Its signs include clumsiness, numbness, brief and intense headaches, and difficulty moving a body part. The injury can heal with time if your nerve isn’t cut.
Construction accidents are among the common causes of nerve damage in Chicago, Illinois. You can hold your employer liable for construction accidents caused by heavy equipment, falling objects, and falls from scaffolding. Physicians usually diagnose nerve damage by carrying out a nerve conduction test to measure the signals from the brain.
Other types of workplace accidents that can cause nerve damage include repetitive use injuries, collisions and crashes, and back/neck strains. These accidents can lead to two forms of nerve damage:
Tearing or Bruising of Tissues or Nerves
A minor injury may cause a nerve bruise or tear. The outcome is loss of some function or sensation. The sensation and function will, however, return to normal after the bruising or tear heals. Be sure to get medical care for this injury to prevent complications, and obtain documentation of your injury and treatment to help prove your claim.
Nerve compression occurs when the surrounding tissues apply too much pressure on a nerve. The surrounding tissues can be cartilage, bone, muscle, or tendon. Mild nerve compression may heal, while a chronic case of this injury may become worse without treatment.
How to Determine the Value of a Nerve Damage Settlement
Nerve damage can leave you with temporary or permanent disabilities. As such, it’s important to determine the value of the settlement when pursuing compensation. You must file a workers’ comp claim to begin this process.
A typical workers’ compensation settlement mainly focuses on two costs: lost earnings and medical costs. The following factors can help determine the value of a nerve damage settlement:
Factors That Influence a Workers’ Comp Settlement Amount
A settlement is the total amount the at-fault party’s insurer gives you for your claim. In the case of a workers’ comp claim, this amount is determined by several factors, including:
- Nature and Severity of your injury or illness
- Medical treatment required for current and future medical problems
- Lost earning potential
- Credibility of your medical reports, bills, and impact statements
Your age and work history will also factor into the settlement amount for your work injury.
Medical Expenses and Treatment Costs
These expenses fall under economic damages, since they help compensate you for your financial losses. Your medical bills, invoices, receipts, and other financial documentation relevant to your treatment are essential in calculating these expenses. Medical care expenses are usually incurred when trying to treat a disease or an injury.
Medical expenses may encompass hospital and doctor visits, dental and health insurance claims, and costs of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Your treatment costs can include costs for healthcare services, such as diagnosis, rehabilitation, nursing services, and ongoing care.
Future medical care needs form part of the treatment and medical care costs. They help predict future medical requirements and their expenses. Your future medical care costs may include surgical procedures, in-home care, lab tests, nursing home care, and pain medication, depending on the nature of the nerve damage.
Lost Wages and Future Earning Potential
Your lost wages include the income you lost due to the work-related accident. On the other hand, your future earning potential is the income and other financial benefits you could lose due to injuries or losses you sustained.
Calculating lost wages and future earning potential is an important part of determining the value of your nerve damage workers’ compensation settlement. Several types of income, like hourly pay, overtime pay, salary, and commissions, form part of wages. Others like sick time, vacation time, benefits, and bonuses also fall under this category.
Disability Benefits and Ongoing Care Needs
You may suffer different types of disabilities depending on the type of nerve damage. These disabilities include physical, sensory, and psychosocial disabilities. You may sustain a stroke or head injury that may leave you with disabilities if the nerve damage occurs in the head.
You may pursue permanent total disability benefits if a work-related illness or injury keeps you from working forever. If your inability to work and earn wages is temporary, you may receive temporary total disability benefits.
You must prove the disability using medical reports and expenses to qualify for disability benefits under workers’ comp. Some costs covered by these benefits include medical fees, counseling, prescription fees, physical therapy, and daily care.
Steps to Take for a Successful Nerve Damage Settlement in Illinois
You must identify, collect, and preserve the most important information for early to build a strong case. Your employer must also be aware of the injury you sustained at work. For a successful settlement, taking the following steps is necessary:
Seek Medical Attention
Get medical help immediately after sustaining an injury at work. Do so even if you do not have any symptoms or think you are not too injured. Also, seek treatment whether you are suffering from immediately obvious injuries like bone fractures or those that develop over time like repetitive strain injury.
Report the Injury Promptly and Accurately
Illinois law requires workers to be familiar with the incident reporting procedures. These procedures help you report any work-related incident to your employer quickly. If you report the incident on time, the company will have ample time to investigate and ensure you get medical care.
Some work-related injuries don’t present symptoms. Failing to report them can be considered a violation of the company procedures. It may also make you miss out on compensation for your treatment costs and lost wages.
Do not simply notify your employer of your injury verbally. Instead, fill out an incident report and submit it to your employer. Ensure the report captures the events that led to the incident. Your employer will initiate the workers’ compensation claim process after receiving your injury report.
Gather the Necessary Medical Documentation and Evidence
You will need evidence of nerve damage and financial losses to substantiate your workers’ comp claim. The required evidence includes medical records, test reports, and medical bills. Impact statements and previous pay stubs can also help build your case.
Medical records may include the physician’s notes on your condition and pain level. These notes can add credibility to your claim. They may also validate your case and help estimate the settlement amount. Test reports like CT scans and X-ray reports can help show injuries you suffered due to nerve damage.
Work With an Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney
The workers’ compensation claims process is quite sophisticated. As such, you need a lawyer to help you navigate this process. A workers’ comp lawyer can guide you on how to prove a repetitive strain injury from a workplace accident.
Workers’ comp nerve damage settlement claims often get denied due to minor errors in the documentation. So, your lawyer will help you file all necessary documentation on time and fill out the details accurately.
Your lawyer will oversee negotiations with the workers’ comp board and the insurance company so you can focus on recovery. The lawyer will also guide you on what to do if your claim gets denied.