How To Get The Best Workers’ Compensation Settlement?August 9, 2018
Individuals who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses often opt to accept compensation settlements—as opposed to going to trial—for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes it takes an extended period to get a hearing, and even then, the process can be arduous. Additionally, in some states, a lump-sum payment cannot be acquired after a win in trial, making a workman’s compensation settlement the more financially prudent option.
Workers’ compensation settlements also allow individuals to receive payment for future benefits that they may never actually glean.
Ultimately, pursuing a workers’ compensation settlement provides an appealing avenue to garner damages endured while on the job. There are a few things a worker may do to gain the best settlement possible.
The structure of the settlement
Structuring the settlement in an appropriate manner depends largely on the precise wording utilized, particularly in regard to protecting the right to future benefits. The jargon used in a settlement can also yield collateral damage, such as the reduction of Social Security disability benefits.
Overall, a settlement should include both unpaid medical bills previously incurred as well as future medical expenditures, at least in some capacity. This is where providing a doctor’s advice is critical.
Should a worker pursue a settlement where a percentage of future estimated costs is received in a lump-sum payment, accurately estimating future bills for hospital visits, physical therapy, surgeries, and various medications becomes paramount.
Hiring a workman’s compensation attorney
In the end, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney will become important to ensure the proper execution of a settlement. Because settlements could reduce future benefits, and because that is often dictated by the detailed language of a settlement, working with an attorney who is familiar with the nuances of the law makes a great deal of sense.
Before settlement negotiations commence, the involved insurance company will calculate a worker’s “permanent disability rating,” which can then be used to determine total earnings entitled under state law. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is particularly important if an individual’s permanent disability is rated 10% or higher.
While an insurance company will use this rating as a starting point for negotiations, often, an attorney will encourage the worker to ask for a moderately higher amount, depending on the circumstances of previous medical conditions and future treatments.
Ultimately, the structure of workers’ compensation settlements necessitates significant scrutiny best accomplished by a seasoned attorney. Because an attorney has previous cases to reference as a gauge to what is appropriate, and because an attorney is best qualified to avoid the adverse collateral effects of a settlement, it becomes prudent to utilize their services.
At the very least, before agreeing to any workman’s compensation settlement, always be sure to understand how the law as applied to your case considers past and future medical expenses.