When to Settle Your Workers’ Compensation Case
When you’re looking for workers’ compensation lawyers near you, you’ve come to the right place for information. Here at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers, we talk about workers’ compensation (WC) a lot. From how it works to how to file, or even more info about the types of injuries that qualify and what to do if you’re denied workers comp.
In this post, we want to discuss the pros and cons and what can happen if you decide to settle your workers’ compensation case for a cash payout. Settling can be very tempting, but depending on your injuries, you should be aware of what could happen if you settle too early.
What Happens When You Settle Your WC Case?
So, you’ve been injured on the job and are successfully receiving workers’ compensation benefits—now what? Well, first and foremost, you want to take the time you need to recover! Your doctor will let you know when it’s okay for you to return to work.
But what if the money you are receiving from your WC claim is not enough to cover your medical bills?
When you’re injured at work, the compensation claim is brought to your employer’s insurance carrier and is then approved by you. If you decide not to approve this claim and contest it for more money, we suggest you talk to one of our experienced injury lawyers here at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers to help with your next step of action.
The Pros and Cons
You may at some point consider settling (or be approached to settle) your WC claim so that you can take it as a lump sum versus a structured settlement. When and if you decide to take a lump sum, know that the following may happen. It is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each.
CON: You’ll no longer receive weekly benefits for this injury now or in the future. When you settle, you give up all of your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. This may not be beneficial if you have a long-term recovery that will require more medical visits in the future.
PRO: In Pennsylvania, if you have been on workers’ comp for 3 months or more, you can settle your case for a lump sum amount of money. If you were injured at work and are now entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer, you may be asked to accept a compromise and release offer. You can also make an offer to the insurance company to settle your case even if they have not made you an offer.
You can settle your wage loss benefit, medical benefits or both. But what is a compromise and release in workers’ comp, and how will it affect you—now and in the future? These are issues you should understand before you agree to anything.
A compromise and release is a way for all parties (you, your employer, and the workers’ comp insurance company) to come to an agreement regarding workers’ compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury or illness. This agreement bypasses courtroom hearings and holds each party to certain terms, which are detailed in the release contract.
Typically, from start to finish, we can get your case settled in only a few months if you and the insurance company want to get it resolved.
CON: You will likely have to testify in front of a judge to confirm your workers’ compensation settlement claim. Plus, once you settle, you won’t be able to claim any further benefits or reopen the claim. For something like this, we definitely recommend having a personal injury lawyer present.
How Much Will I Get from Settling?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the pros and cons, you’re probably wondering if settling is the right choice, how much money you could get, and whether or not you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer near you. Well, both of those first questions can really only be answered by you, the lawyers, and the insurance companies.
First, you have to remember that every workers’ compensation claim is going to be different. The injuries you sustain, the WC insurance that your employer has, how much you make, the state you live in, and other deciding factors all play a part in your final payout.
Also, your claim may have deductions for attorney fees or unpaid medical bills, so your lump sum may be even less than you expected. That’s why we always recommend you work with a lawyer so you know if settling a workers compensation claim will get you a bigger payout and is the right choice for you.
Ready to Take the Next Steps?
Are you still unsure whether or not you should settle your workers’ compensation case? Do you find yourself confused by trying to navigate all the legal jargon and paperwork? If so, let Westmoreland Injury Lawyers do the work for you. Here at our law firm, our primary focus is on personal injury cases just like yours. We want you to get the most compensation you can to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. If you have any questions about workers’ compensation and what our team can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact us!