January of 2017 has gone down in the record books as the year with the most deadly winter tornadic activity on record since 1950 when storms began being journaled. While many states in the southeast were spared the brunt of the activity, Georgia saw total devastation in many cities, especially Albany, where mile wide swaths of trees were felled, factories collapsed and homes ripped from their foundations to be carried miles away with the storms being on ground for more than an hour at a time!
During the cleanup, there was a potential to be injured due to extremely hazardous conditions. Were you injured? If so, and if you expect a sizeable settlement, the following advice on how to handle both the claim and the settlement comes from Tampa personal injury attorney, Jeffrey W. Hensley.
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When Injured on the Job
As a result of these totally unprecedented storms out of season, many workers came from around the country to help with the cleanup efforts. Some were freelancers and others working for companies that were contracted to provide professional services in clearing, lifting and hauling. If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to a sizeable settlement under that employer’s insurance. Many claims are paid at some point and a large settlement is offered.
However, many people take that windfall and spend it frivolously. The best advice Mr. Hensley offers is to take that settlement money and use it wisely. Why not invest that settlement so that a large lump sum gets even larger over time? Here is some of what you should know about filing a work-related personal injury claim and what to do after you’ve settled, in or out of court.
Steps Necessary to Getting that Settlement
No, you are not in it for the money. You did not want to get injured and you certainly didn’t want to suffer the pain and loss of employment due to that injury. But, if you hope to get the just compensation you need, there are steps you should follow.
Before doing anything whatsoever, it is vital that you seek medical attention if you are injured. Don’t write an injury off as minor because there could be far-reaching repercussions that won’t become obvious for days, maybe weeks. This is of vital importance, not only for your own health, but also in the event that you need to file a claim with an insurance company. Documentation of each and every injury is imperative to your claim and without it, there is no way to substantiate where, when and how you were injured.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If your injuries are severe enough to keep you out of work, temporarily or permanently, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer to file that claim for you. Many people take it upon themselves to file a claim and, unfortunately, say the wrong thing and leave themselves open to a denial of claim. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make money and although it is their responsibility to pay out on valid claims, they will do everything in their power to pay as little as possible, or nothing at all.
Always seek the best personal injury team you can find with a winning record. There is nothing inherently wrong with seeking compensation due to injuries you sustained, so follow these steps to protect yourself in the event that you were injured. Then, when awarded a settlement, go back to your attorney and seek ways to invest that money so that it continues to grow. You may not be able to go back to work, so let that money work for you.