A motion for summary judgment (MSJ) can be a very effective litigation tool. It can settle the matter before going to trial, get a more reasonable settlement discussion, and even limit how many issues are involved in a dispute. But, what are the realistic odds of winning a summary judgment?
Schmidt & Clark lawyers have two decades of experience filing summary judgment motions. Our lawyers are familiar with the filing process and know how and when a judge will grant summary judgment.
Today, we’ll explain the odds of winning a summary judgment and everything you should know about this motion.
Summary of the Key Findings
- Most workers' comp cases are settled outside of a trial.
- You can do several things to increase the chances of winning a workers’ comp case.
- An attorney can help you get workers’ comp benefits and an average weekly wage while you’re unable to work.
What to Do After an Injury at Work
There are several things you should do after an injury at work, including getting medical help and getting a good lawyer.
Only 7% of all workers’ comp cases are denied, and only 5% of them go to trial . This means the majority of claims are settled out of court.
“Workers' compensation laws protect people who become injured or disabled while working at their jobs. The laws provide the injured workers with fixed monetary awards in an attempt to eliminate the need for litigation. These laws also provide benefits for dependents of those workers who are killed because of work-related accidents or illnesses.” Cornell Law Institute
To ensure your workers’ compensation claim is valid, here’s what you should do after being injured:
- Report the injury to the employer — This can be done verbally, but it’s better to fill out a paper or send an email to have proof later on.
- Get medical help — Go to the doctor straight away to establish that the consequences are due to the work injury.
- Inform the doctor the injury happened at work — Make sure this is stated in the report.
- Don’t embellish the injury — You’ll probably get caught lying about the severity of the injury, which will kill your worker’s comp case.
- Listen to the doctor — Take the prescribed medications, go to physical therapy, and do what the doctor tells you to do. If you don’t follow the doctor’s advice, the insurance company may use this as an excuse not to cover medical bills.
- Get a lawyer — An experienced lawyer will advise you every step of the way and help you win a workers’ comp case.
Tips that Increase the Odds of Winning
Here are some tips that will help you win a workers’ compensation case:
1. Document Everything
To win workers’ comp claims, you should document everything. Start with informing your employer that an injury happened.
In some states, the employer must be notified within 30 days of the accident. If you’re not sure what the law in your state is, consult a workers’ comp attorney.
When reporting an accident, provide all the details about the events that caused the injury. Write down everything you remember about the accident for your own records.
Make sure to record all phone calls. This includes calls with the insurance company, a doctor’s office, and your employer. Always state the name of the person you’re speaking with and the call time.
This is useful for remembering the things you talked about. Also, some doctor’s offices and insurance companies will document your call, so it’s a good idea to have your records in place.
2. Be Careful When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster will most likely ask for a statement explaining how the injury happened in detail.
Then, they’ll use this recorded statement to find discrepancies and lower the compensation amount. Keep in mind that you aren’t under obligation to give a statement.
You should consult an experienced attorney as they can give you advice on how to deal with the insurance company and get your rightful workers’ compensation benefits.
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3. Understand the Disability Rating
The settlement amount for a worker’s compensation case depends on the disability rating. There are four categories of disability:
- Temporary total disability — You are not able to work for some time.
- Temporary partial disabilities — You are unable to do some but not all of the work duties for some time.
- Permanent partial disability — You are permanently unable to perform some work duties.
- Permanent total disability — You are not able to work ever again. In this case, the doctor will assign a rating based on severity, from 5% to 100%. Workers with a permanent disability may have the right to lifetime wages.
Related Article: FCE Permanent Restrictions (Everything to Know)
4. Hire a Lawyer
The Workers’ Compensation Act is complicated and full of loopholes for the other party to exploit . That’s why you need an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help you with the legal process.
Many lawyers provide free consultations, and they can help you understand your responsibilities and legal options.
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How long do most workers’ comp settlements take?
How long the workers’ comp settlements take depends on the state. In some states, the insurance company must decide on the workers’ comp settlements between 14 and 30 days .
Related Article: How Long Does It Take To Negotiate a Legal Settlement?
Get an Experienced Attorney to Help with Your Workers’ Comp Case
There are several steps you should follow after getting injured at work. Inform the employer of the injury, get medical care, and save all the medical records.
Be careful when speaking with insurance adjusters and doctors, and hire experienced attorneys.
Law firm Schmidt & Clark has won numerous workers’ comp cases. Our team of attorneys can help you win your claim.
Contact us for a free consultation as soon as today, and we will discuss your legal options.