If you’re unfortunate enough to have been involved in an accident at work and have been injured, chances are you’ve been looking into or are already claiming workers’ comp. Perhaps you wanted to claim workers’ comp but the insurance company or your employer has refused to pay. Either way, you may be thinking about seeking or agreeing to a settlement. There can be both benefits and disadvantages to pursuing this option, so it’s important to look into it carefully and receive proficient counsel before agreeing to anything.
What Different Types of Settlement Are There?
Instead of receiving bi-weekly payments for their workers’ comp, some people prefer to negotiate to have one lump sum. This money may take into account the cost of perceived future medical treatment and care, in addition to benefits and medical expenses that have yet to be reimbursed. It may well suit you to look into structured settlements, which will stagger your lump sum over a set period of time.
Benefits of a Settlement
Accepting a settlement has several benefits:
- The process is fast and you will receive the money you need quickly
- You don’t have to attend a hearing or trial, which can be stressful, expensive, and lengthy
- There is a risk if you go to trial you could loose
- At trial a judge may decide to award you a lower amount than you expected
- By opting for a settlement you may be awarded money for perceived costs – e.g. a doctor states that in the future there’s a strong chance you’ll need an operation or therapy for your injury, you could receive money towards this.
Disadvantages of Accepting a Settlement
- If your injury looks like it’s going to have long term effects far into the future, taking a settlement could be a perilous decision. By settling you’re usually waiving your rights to claim payments for continued medical treatment. It may well transpire that you need major surgery or continued treatments and medicine which you didn’t foresee, in which case you’ll be let with the bill.
- Unfortunately when you get a lump sum it can be tempting to spend more frivolously than usual, disregarding the fact that the settlement is meant to take care of you long into the future. If you opt for regular payments, you don’t have this opportunity.
Reaching a settlement can be extremely advantageous depending on your situation. In order to find out if this is the right path for you to take, meet with the experts at Franco Firm who can help.