Have you been injured on the job and are currently going through the workers’ compensation settlement process? Perhaps you’ve wondered whether regularly attending physical therapy could help maximize the value of your claim.
While many factors influence settlement amounts, your commitment to medical treatment is certainly taken into consideration. However, every case is different, and the best way to figure out how physical therapy affects workers’ comp settlements is to speak to an Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer.
From establishing baseline limitations to measuring functional gains, therapy plays a strategic role that claimants would be wise to understand. Let’s examine both the healing process and settlement procedures in which physical treatment features prominently.
How Physical Therapy Can Impact a Workers Comp Claim
In some instances, going to your physical therapy (PT) appointments after an accident can boost the amount you get in a workers’ compensation settlement. But each injury and event is different, so it is not a guarantee.
However, attending to your injuries and following doctor’s orders can have a direct impact on the outcome of your claim. For more information on your specific case, it’s advisable to consult with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with experience handling workers comp cases.
Here are a few key points on how physical therapy can potentially impact workers’ compensation settlements:
Documenting Treatment and Recovery Progress
Regular physical therapy appointments create medical records that document the nature and extent of injuries from a workplace accident. Settlement amounts often correlate to injury severity.
Preventing Long-Term Disability
PT aims to help injured workers recover mobility and return to regular duties as soon as it’s medically advised. Insurers may offer larger settlements to plaintiffs who avoid long-term lost wages or disability status through successful rehabilitation.
Demonstrating Commitment to Recovery
Undertaking physical therapy shows an effort to mitigate damages and get better rather than risk being seen as exacerbating the situation by declining recommended care. This can create goodwill during settlement negotiations.
Expert Opinion on Prognosis
Physical therapists create assessments and progress notes that weigh in on the expected. The recovery timeline, the likelihood of maximum medical improvement, and the chance of permanent impairment with or without ongoing treatment. Insurers consider such prognoses when determining settlement value.
Affirming Causation of Injuries
Consistent PT consultations may be able to produce documentation that helps bolster the argument that reported workplace injuries, not some other event, are the cause of the disabilities presented for settlement.
While there are no guarantees, overall physical therapy often supports achieving more favorable workers’ compensation claim resolutions. Documenting a good faith treatment effort and recovery progress is advisable in many serious occupational injury cases.
Get the strong arm
Other Factors That Can Impact a Workers’ Comp Claim
While the nature of the injury and length of disability play major roles, there are other factors that can influence the value and outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. Assessing all relevant details of the accident and its aftermath is key to navigating the claims process.
Workers’ compensation lawyers can help protect your rights and advocate for your fair treatment throughout the process. Let’s explore some additional considerations that may impact a workers’ comp case.
- Nature/Severity of Injury: More serious injuries generally result in higher special/general damages. Things like hospitalizations, multiple surgeries, and joint replacements justify larger settlements.
- Length of Disability: Not only are longer absences costly in lost wages, but they also lengthen future medical expense projections. Even after returning to work, residual limitations may increase liability.
- Medical Costs: Six-figure settlements aren’t unheard of for injuries incurring lifelong expensive treatment that comes with permanent injuries that involve home healthcare, long-term prescriptions, etc.
- Age/Occupation: Younger workers/trades suffer greater lifetime diminished earning capacities from early disabilities. Conversely, older employees near retirement may settle for less.
- Location: Living expenses, healthcare costs, and average wages in pricier metro areas may factor into settlements calculated as compensation for disability impacts.
- Witnesses: First-hand corroboration of injuries strengthens causation essential to recovery. Video, photos, or witness statements can often lend validity. A workers comp attorney will have the resources and experience to gather these valuable pieces of evidence on your behalf.
- Legal Representation: Experienced counsel can advocate for you and defend your rights in order to secure higher settlements by minimizing weaknesses in a claim and ensuring all damages are addressed.
By assessing all relevant circumstances, settlements aim to restore plaintiffs financially to pre-injury positions as reasonably and swiftly as possible. An attorney can maximize this outcome.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss How Physical Therapy Can Impact a Worker’s Comp Claim
Settlement amounts in workers’ compensation claims are determined by a number of variables, including the severity of the injury, the costs associated with medical treatment, and the likelihood that the injured party would be able to return to work. Consideration of these criteria may be more important than just the completion of physical therapy sessions.
In the end, the effect of physical therapy on workers’ compensation settlements should be looked at with help from a workers comp lawyer for a full understanding of your specific case.
If you believe that physical therapy played an important role in your rehabilitation, seeking advice from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney may help you maximize your settlement potential. Contact John Foy & Associates Personal Injury Law today for a free consultation.