When you are receiving worker's compensation, you may decide to have your case settled for a lump sum of money. While this may seem like a good idea up at first, how do you know if this is the best option for you? By understanding what happens when your case is settled, you can decide if settlement is a decision you want to make.
Weekly Benefits Will End
Once your case is settled, you will no longer be able to receive weekly benefits related to that specific injury. This includes payment for total and partial disabilities that are both temporary and permanent. With weekly benefits being 60% of your wages before the injury, this is a large chunk of money you will be unable to receive again.
Medical Related Payments May or May Not Continue
Each state has different laws regarding if your medical related bills will continue to be paid through workers compensation after a settlement has been reached. Some states will require that all' your medical bills related to the injury are paid for indefinitely, while others will terminate this benefit immediately upon case settlement.
That's why it's best to work with a professional lawyer, like those at the Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw, to determine what the laws are in your state before settling. An insurer may become reluctant to pay your medical bills after your case is settled, and you need to know if the law is on your side regarding this important benefit of workers' compensation.
Your State Must Approve A Workers' Compensation Settlement
Even if you and the insurer agree about settling your workers' compensation case, the settlement may not be approved. That is because most states require both parties to submit the settlement proposal to the workers' compensation agency.
A judge will review your proposal. They will only agree to settling the case if it is clear that you agreed to settling under your own free will, that you clearly understand the terms of the settlement, and that settling the case will not be detrimental to your injury.
Determine Your Lump Sum Benefit
Your lump sum benefit is determined by the estimates given by your doctors for your recovery. For example, if your doctors only estimate that you have a year until you are fully recovered from a temporary partial disability, your lump sum would be based off the benefits you would receive over that year.
While it's possible to recover from an injury quicker than expected, it's also possible that it will take much longer than your doctor's estimate. While receiving that lump sum settlement can be great, it may not cover all of your injuries.