If you sustain a work-related injury, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to help you cope with your hardship.
There are a variety of workplace injuries and occupational diseases for which workers can claim benefits, including things like back and neck injuries, burns, hearing loss, and carpal tunnel syndrome. But what if you’re dealing with more than one injury? How does this affect your claim and compensation?
At RGMR, we have over 70 years of combined experience representing injured workers in Oregon, including the most complex multiple injury claims. Our attorneys are here to break down everything you need to know about workers’ comp multiple injury settlements so you can get the maximum benefits in your case.
Understanding the Challenges of Multiple Injury Workers’ Comp Claims
The workers’ compensation claims process can be frustrating, even if your case is straightforward and you’re dealing with a single injury. But multiple injuries or illnesses can further complicate the process.
Challenges that can arise in workers’ comp multiple injury settlements include:
- A more complex diagnostic process
- The need for multiple treating physicians
- More opportunities for insurance providers to question the legitimacy of your claim
- Interactions with preexisting conditions
- Related, yet separate injuries
You’re entitled to compensation for the entirety of your hardship. Although multiple injury claims can introduce additional obstacles, there are two important things to note:
- As long as all your injuries resulted from the same workplace accident, you generally only have to file one claim.
- You may receive more compensation in a multiple injury settlement than with a single injury claim.
Factors Affecting Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Every workers’ comp case is different. The settlement you reach and benefits you’re ultimately awarded can be impacted by a number of factors, many of which you can’t necessarily control:
- The type of injury or illness
- The number and severity of injuries
- Whether your injuries prevent you from returning to work and for how long
- Your current and future medical needs
- The status of your claim and whether or not it’s being contested
- Medical evaluations
- Your previous wages
- Your legal representation
Navigating Medical Assessments
The majority of workplace injury claims are completely legitimate. But insurance companies such as SAIF have the right to investigate your claim before issuing an approval or denial within 60 days. Investigations almost always involve an independent medical examination (IME). For an IME, the insurance provider selects an independent, non-treating physician to evaluate your injuries.
Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes use unfair tactics to deny you the compensation you deserve, such as choosing a biased doctor to complete your evaluation. Some doctors may falsely suggest that your injuries are a result of the natural aging process or a preexisting condition.
Knowing how to prepare for your IME and advocating for yourself throughout the process is vital to ensuring you get the benefits you’re rightfully owed.
How are Multiple Injury Claims Calculated?
A multiple injury claim can often result in significantly greater compensation. For example, according to the National Safety Council, the average workers’ comp settlement is around $20,000, while the average settlement for injuries involving multiple body parts is approximately $62,859.
Benefits in multiple injury claims are generally calculated after determining an overall disability rating. The disability rating you’re assigned will take into account all existing relevant injuries, and may be calculated in one of two ways:
- Using a multiplicity factor to account for compounded impairment due to multiple injuries.
- Using a combined value chart to determine your overall disability rating based on the set ratings for each individual injury.
How to Maximize Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement
There are several proven strategies for effectively managing workers’ comp claims that involve multiple injuries. At RGMR, we can help guide you through the entire workers’ comp claims process step by step and fight to protect your rights to get you the benefits you deserve.
Documentation and Integrity
The first step is to report your injuries immediately. Notify your employer as soon as possible. Although the law doesn’t require this to be in writing, you can protect your interests by documenting everything that happens and following up on in-person conversations with written communications. Get medical attention for your injuries to ensure there is a clear record, and always be honest about the details of your case.
Know Your Rights
The system is supposed to protect injured workers. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies aren’t always honest or fair when it comes to investigating claims. But you can stand up for yourself by knowing your rights, telling the truth, and not giving up. At RGMR, we can help you understand your specific rights and responsibilities throughout the process.
Communication and Advocacy
On-the-job injuries can be devastating for workers and their families. In addition to the physical and financial hardships, you may also feel alone, isolated, and unheard. But you don’t have to fight alone. Communicate with your family, friends, treating doctors, and trusted colleagues, and consider working with a skilled Oregon workers’ comp attorney. Our attorneys know the system like the backs of our hands and we truly care about your wellbeing.
Have You Sustained Multiple Workplace Injuries? RGMR Can Help!
If you’re dealing with physical injuries due to your work, you’re entitled to fair compensation for any and all damages. Multiple injury claims are complex and can be difficult to navigate without competent representation.
The attorneys at Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin, & Ratliff LLP have extensive experience navigating and winning multiple injury claims in Oregon. We know the system inside and out and our team of legal experts are deeply committed to providing you with comprehensive, compassionate, and fierce advocacy every step of the way.
Contact us today to tell us about your situation and get the compensation you need. We’re here to fight for you and we won’t take a single penny unless we win your case.