Settlements for workers’ comp cases are often fairly modest, with workers suffering minor injuries that don’t have long-term ramifications on their lives. However, some workers’ comp cases involving serious injuries have the potential to result in multi-million dollar settlements. To date, the largest settlement payment in a workers’ comp case came in March of 2017, with a $10 million settlement agreement.
The case involved an incident that took place in California in 2013 when an employee was driving home from work in the early hours of the morning and her vehicle left the road and crashed into a tree. The woman suffered a life-altering brain injury as a result of the accident. The case was recognized as a workers’ comp case because the employee was driving home after a special project at work outside of normal hours.
Situations like this are more common than you may think. You may often be surprised with who is considered liable in an accident under the law. In special cases of work-related injuries, a lawyer can tell you if you are eligible for multiple types of compensation.
How Technology Is Changing Workers’ Comp Cases
Laws have existed for almost as long as humanity. Despite the long history of law, there is rarely ever any stagnation. Everywhere has its own unique laws. Different countries have different laws. Different states have different laws. Even neighboring cities have different laws. In addition to all of the different laws in different locations, laws are constantly changing within different communities. Even small townships change laws fairly regularly.
In addition to the differences in the actual laws, which is understandable when you consider the way that societies evolve, there are also changes in how the law is practiced. It should come as no surprise that there have been many changes to how law firms operate as new technology has come along. Why should the law be left behind while everything else advances?
What Has Changed?
Technology has slowly been changing the way lawyers operate for years. In the past simple, routine work was handled by the lowest-ranked lawyers at a law firm, but since an in-house lawyer was doing the work, clients got billed at premium rates. Now many law firms are using alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) for many of these tasks, such as document review.
There is a wide range of ALSPs available, and many are AI-driven. The use of an ALSP app for document review or another minor task benefits both clients and lawyers alike. Clients save money because the use of ALSPs is much cheaper than the premium billing costs of a junior lawyer. While law firms are able to free up more time for their less experienced lawyers to focus on more important tasks and grow their talents quicker.
When it comes to workers’ comp cases, most lawyers charge on a contingency basis, meaning that they don’t get paid unless you get paid. In these cases, clients typically aren’t billed by line-item, but on an agreed-upon percentage from the final payout. There is still the possibility to save in these cases as well when a lawyer uses and ALSP because, with lower overhead costs, they are more likely to charge a lower percentage.
How Things Are Changing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The need to change the way that certain legal functions are performed has never been more prevalent than it is now. With many people in lockdown and others trying to limit their contact with people as much as possible, there is a high need to move many things in society online, including legal functions.
Many legal documents are now being submitted to the court through online means, and several workers’ comp cases are largely being handled electronically. Many courts are now conducting mediation through video conference apps like Skype and Zoom. As more and more jobs move (either temporarily or permanently) from in-office to at-home, there are also more questions about what qualifies for workers’ compensation.
When you are hurt at home, but the accident takes place during working hours, are you covered? If you are facing questions like these, it is best to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. They can help you discover what kind of compensation you might be eligible for in this rapidly evolving world.