Workplace injuries can be sudden, or they can arise over time due to repetitive stress. If a person has a valid worker’s comp claim, they may wonder about settling the case and about how much money they may receive. Below is some basic information on settling worker’s compensation cases.
Settling Typically Means That Weekly Benefits End
The first thing a claimant should consider is that settling a worker’s compensation case means that they cannot receive further weekly payments for the injury, as settlement closes that portion of the case.
Medical Bills Can Still Be Paid
Some jurisdictions require insurers to continue paying a claimant’s medical bills after a case is settled, but others allow insurance companies to terminate benefits. Claimants should check with the appropriate state agency or a worker’s compensation lawyer to determine whether the state requires continued medical benefits.
Settlements Must Gain State Worker’s Comp Agency Approval
Just because an insurer, a claimant, and their Workers compensation lawyer agree on a settlement doesn’t mean that the case is over. Most jurisdictions require that a proposal be submitted to the state’s worker’s comp agency. After a hearing, a judge or hearing officer will review the settlement. If the officer believes that the worker did not gain just compensation, the settlement may be rejected.
The Chances of Receiving Benefits
If the insurer’s doctor believes that a worker can return to the job right away, and a hearing is upcoming, future benefit entitlement can range from weeks to years. In cases where the insurer’s physician’s opinion is stronger than that of the claimant’s physician, it’s in the claimant’s best interests to settle right away for an amount that reflects the chances of benefits being quickly terminated.
Permanent And Total Disability
It is more difficult to estimate the value of a settlement if a person is on total, permanent disability. If this is the case, weekly benefits may continue for years. Therefore, any estimate of the settlement’s value must consider the current value of the claimant’s future benefit entitlement. The financial calculations involved are complex, and such cases should not be settled without first visiting Alpernschubertlaw.com and consulting a Workers compensation lawyer. You can also follow them on Twitter.