A workers comp settlement offer has arrived. Now what? Should you accept it? What are your options?
Getting hurt at work can significantly impact your life. You owe it to your future self to get it right when it comes to your settlement. Our workers compensation lawyers explain what you need to know about your workers comp first settlement offer.
Do you accept the first workers comp settlement offer?
Maybe. The first workers comp settlement offer may be a fair calculation of your compensation. However, there are a lot of nuances and different ways a settlement can be structured, You should only sign if you have talked with an attorney that knows this area of the law.
Don’t sign a settlement without speaking to our workers compensation lawyers. We can help you understand your rights and whether you should accept a settlement.
What does it mean when workers comp wants to settle?
When workers comp wants to settle, it means that the insurance company wants to agree on how to resolve the case. They may not admit their liability. But they agree on what they will pay. The parties determine the judgment for themselves, without the court deciding who wins or what the payment is. A settlement is a compromise to resolve the dispute without a decision from a judge.
Here’s What You Need to Know About the First Workers Comp Settlement Offer:
1. You do not have to accept the settlement
As you read through the settlement offer, understand that it is just that – an offer. You don’t have to accept it. You may take your case to a hearing, or you may continue to negotiate.
2. There are two kinds of settlements – lump sum settlements and structured settlements
If the settlement is a lump sum, you get the entire amount at once. With a structured settlement, you get paid periodically. What’s best for you depends on your situation – It may seem like a lump sum is best, but a structured settlement gives you the peace of mind that your funds will last into the future. It may also minimize tax burdens and keep you eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance payments. Be sure that you understand what the offer is and the implications.
3. If you accept a compromise and release for medical benefits, you cannot go back if your injuries get worse
One type of workers’ compensation settlement in Pennsylvania is a Compromise and Release. If you accept it, and it covers medical benefits, it’s a complete resolution of your medical coverage from the incident. You should know that if you take the compromise and release for medical benefits, you can’t ask for more if your injuries get worse later. There is no guarantee that the amount is going to cover your future needs.
4. A compromise and release gives you control of the money
The upside of a compromise and release for a workers comp settlement offer is that you’re in control of the funds. You don’t have to spend the money on medical care or even attend doctor’s visits. The funds can be invested, they can pay your living expenses or go towards education. A compromise and release has both upsides and drawbacks, so be sure to understand what it is and what it can do for you.
5. When you accept a settlement, you know the outcome
If you take your case to a hearing, you may get more or less than the settlement offer. A settlement is just that – a compromise. You may get more at trial, but you may get nothing at all. Accepting a settlement is the only way to know the outcome for sure.
6. You shouldn’t sign if you don’t know what you’re signing
A workers’ compensation settlement is a calculated decision by the insurance company. They may be offering the settlement because they know they’re liable to pay, and they want to mitigate their costs. On the other hand, they may be hoping that you don’t understand the law and that you accept a settlement that is way too low. Know what you are signing and what it covers. Evaluate the things that workers compensation should pay. Compare them to your case to conduct an honest evaluation of the settlement offer and whether it fairly covers your rights under the law.
7. Don’t sign without understanding your average weekly wage
If you’re unable to work because of your injuries, workers compensation pays based on your average weekly wage. This calculation may be factored into the settlement offer that you receive. Calculating an average weekly wage can be complex. If they leave out things like overtime, tips or a second job, or even if they make simple math errors, your average weekly wage may be too low. Do your own average weekly wage calculation to help decide whether to accept any workers’ compensation settlement offer.
8. Pay attention to timelines and deadlines
If you receive a settlement offer, don’t forget that time deadlines still apply to official proceedings. There may still be deadlines for claims and appeals. The other side extending a settlement offer doesn’t do anything to change the formal deadlines. In addition, the insurance company may have put a time limit on their offer. Be sure to work quickly and pay attention to deadlines.
9. You have the right to an attorney
If you’re hurt at work, your workers compensation settlement can significantly impact your peace of mind and your future. You don’t have to just hope for the best. A lawyer for workers compensation can review your settlement offer. If it’s a good offer, they can explain why. If not, they can help you fight for a fair resolution of your case.
Attorney for Workers Compensation Settlement Offer
Are you wondering if you should accept your workers compensation settlement offer? Do you have questions about what it means?
Let our lawyers for workers compensation settlement offers evaluate your offer and explain the details. Our lawyers work to give you clarity, resolution and peace of mind. Contact us today.