If you were injured at work and filed for workers compensation benefits, you might not have been offered the amount you want. In this case, you will need to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Here is more information about this type of settlement.
Types of Settlements
The first thing to know is that there are a few different types of workers compensation settlements. For example, you might want to get payments over a specific period of time. Another settlement can give you one lump sum of payments for your injury and medical costs instead of splitting up the amount into smaller payments. Settlements can also be a way to dispute an amount being offered, to try and keep your medical care rights, or to get past-due temporary disability payments.
Pros and Cons of Accepting a Settlement
It also helps to understand the implications of accepting a workers compensation settlement. The first benefit to accepting a settlement offered to you is that you can start receiving your benefits earlier without having to go through more legal hoops. When you are injured and just want the process over, this is probably your best option. It also prevents you from having to take the case to a hearing or trial and paying a lawyer to represent you.
The downside of accepting a settlement is of course that you might end up with less than what you could have gotten if you filed an appeal or tried to go to court with your case. You may also waive your right for future medical treatments regarding this injury to be covered under some settlement agreements. If you choose a lump sum settlement, you risk getting less overall or spending that money too quickly and having no benefits left.
Settlement Wording and Structure
Before you accept or deny a settlement offered by the insurance company, read through it thoroughly. Some of these settlements can be a little tricky to understand, so hire a lawyer to help you decipher it if you need to. You need to know how much you are getting, how often or for how long, and if future medical costs will be covered if they are related to this particular work-related injury.
You should also read the agreement to see if your workers compensation claim is completely closed or remains open if you accept the settlement. Also find out if it provides new money or if you are only getting paid permanent disability benefits you have already paid into with your paychecks.