Settling Your Worker's Compensation Claim: What You Need to Know
Your employer has a responsibility to give you compensation for any injuries that you sustain while working for him or her. A worker's compensation claim allows for four kinds of compensation that you can receive. Reimbursement of medical bills, weekly compensation, vocational rehabilitation, and impairment benefits are all factored into your total benefits. You have the option of receiving benefits on a weekly basis, or you can settle your claim and receive a single lump sum. If you are considering settlement as an option, here is what you need to know.
Hiring a Worker's Compensation Lawyer
It's possible to settle your claim on your own, but you do not want to make the mistake of settling for less than what you deserve. A worker's compensation lawyer has experience with these types of cases and knows what to expect based on the injuries you sustained. A lawyer can walk you through each part of the settlement process so that you can feel confident that you are getting the best result possible.
Valuing Your Benefits
Your lawyer will help you put a valuation on your worker's compensation benefits for the total lump sum that you are requesting. The hardest part of doing this is accurately estimating the benefits that you would receive if you continued to receive weekly benefits. For example, medical bills can be uncertain, because you are not sure what the recovery process will be like. You could heal quickly, or you may never completely recover.
Thankfully, your lawyer will do all the legwork of calculating these future benefits for you. It will involve working with doctors in order to determine your recovery time and accurately calculating your future medical bills based on that time.
Unfortunately, pain and suffering cannot be factored into a worker's compensation case, even though it is common in personal injury cases. This makes it easier to calculate what your potential lump sum would be, though.
Once you've reached a settlement amount with your employer, your case may not be over. Settlements need approval from your state in order for you to receive your lump sum. This is to ensure that victims of injuries in the workplace receive the compensation they need to recover from an injury and that the lump sum figure is fair.
A judge will evaluate your case and approve or deny the settlement. He or she will also verify that you completely understand the consequences of settling and that you will no longer receive your weekly benefits.
Think you want to settle your worker's compensation case? Meet with a lawyer from a firm like Lovett Schefrin Harnett to discuss your options.