Workers compensation laws protect all qualified employers and employees. With the workers comp system, employees can obtain proper medical treatment and recoup lost wages related to employment-related diseases and injuries. Employers, in turn, cover these benefits through their insurance and are protected from employee lawsuits. But before you agree to an insurer’s settlement offer, here’s what you need to know about settling workers comp claims.
What Exactly is a Workers Compensation Settlement?
If you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer and “settle” your claim, you are also giving up your right to future workers compensation benefits to receive further compensation. Settlements are usually paid in one full payment or lump sum. But the insurer might agree to a different payment structure if you sustained catastrophic injuries requiring long-term medical care. For example, you could opt to receive payments monthly, yearly, or every couple of years.
However, if you don’t agree with the settlement offer or would like a different setup for receiving payments, you have some options. You can try negotiating with the insurance carrier or take your claim to a trial or hearing so that a judge can decide on the dispute. You should likewise keep in mind that once a judge approves a workers compensation settlement agreement, the decision is final. This means that you cannot demand extra benefits or reopen your case.
When Should I Settle My Workers Compensation Claim?
Depending on your specific disease or injuries, it could be very hard to value a settlement amount while you’re still recovering. This is why most employees are advised to wait until they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) to settle their workers comp claims. Basically, you’ve reached MMI when your doctor determines that your condition won’t improve anymore with medical treatment.
But keep in mind that once you settle your workers comp claim, you’re giving up more benefits and your right to pursue more compensation. If you’re not a hundred percent certain whether you should settle or not, an experienced workers compensation attorney can help evaluate the potential risks and benefits of settling.
Speak to an Experienced Bloomsburg Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
Workers compensation settlements are complex, and your employer’s insurance provider will definitely be represented by experienced lawyers. To ensure that you win your claim and secure proper compensation for your injuries, you need to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Call Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane at 570-799-9129 or contact us online to arrange your free case consultation with our experienced Bloomsburg workers compensation lawyer.
Workers Compensation Settlement Claims FAQs
What’s a Workers Compensation Settlement?
When you “settle” a workers compensation claim, you’re essentially giving up your rights to workers comp benefits so that you can receive a settlement of money.
Should I Settle My Workers Compensation Claim?
It’s best to ask a workers comp claim lawyer to evaluate your case, assess your injuries, and calculate your medical expenses (which might include future expenses) to determine whether you should settle or negotiate for more.
How Long Do Workers Compensation Claims Take?
Some undisputed claims, usually those involving minor injuries and lower payouts, resolve fairly quickly. Claims involving serious and potentially lifetime injuries usually take longer to settle.