With the holiday season upon us most people are thinking of Thanksgiving Dinners, Christmas shopping and spending time with loved ones. As families and friends prepare for the holiday season, workers compensation adjusters prepare for the increased potential of year-end insurance settlements, which also means a potential increase in their bonuses.
But for those injured on the job, this can be played out to your advantage. If there was ever a right time to settle a worker’s compensation case the time would be now, assuming you have reached maximum medical improvement. This means you and your doctor have a good idea of how your injury will affect you in future and what future medical treatment you may need.
You see, most insurance companies are businesses and they operate for-profit like other businesses do. They are in business to make money. Period. So, the more open cases there are, the more payments are still being made for medical bills and visits, disability benefits, lawyer fees, case managers and investigators. To make the most money, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible on work injuries in settlement.
When someone is injured at work, insurance companies try to predict how much that injury will likely to cost them in the future. Adjusters jobs are to reasonably predict what an injury suffered is likely to cost them in benefits. This is called a reserve. If an adjuster reasonably stays below the reserve, they can seek towards a settlement.
But unfortunately, many adjusters aren’t paid out by their good performance, but rather a bonus based on how many settlements they can close. The more costs for the insurance company, the less money for the adjusters. And since upper-management work for bonuses too, there is pressure from upper-management to close out as many cases as possible.
So, come the end of the year many adjusters are anxious to close as many open cases as possible by to get that year-end bonus. The more settlements they close by the end of the year, the more money in their pocket for the holidays, gifts, trips or whatever. So they are more likely to offer the highest amount they are able to in order to get your case resolved. The caveat for them is that they want it closed and paid before the end of the year, so you could have money in hand by Christmas.
Come spring time, insurance companies will not be as anxious to settle. If it makes sense to them, sure they will consider settle. But during this time of the year, it’s a give-away that they will want to settle. Take this to your advantage and if settlement is an option, consider now the time.
If you have any questions about Illinois workers’ compensation law and want to speak with an attorney for free, call us any time or fill out our contact form and we will call you.