Most states have workers' compensation laws that allow you to negotiate for a lump sum payment instead of periodic payments. This is why the insurance company may present you with an initial offer to settle your case. However, before you accept that offer, it's important to understand some of its potential complications, such as these three:
Rejection by the Judge
You are not the only one who has a say on whether or not the offer is adequate for your compensation. According to Nolo, most states require a workers' compensation judge to rubber stamp the offer before you can receive it. The review takes place in an informal conference that may be attended by a workers' compensation lawyer and the judge.
If the judge determines that the offer is not a fair one, then he or she has the authority to deny it. This will set back your efforts for a quick settlement, and you will have to renegotiate. This is one of the reasons it's advisable to have a lawyer review your offer, even if it seems reasonable, before accepting it.
The Weekly Benefits End
Workers' compensation entitles you to weekly benefits. Your state laws determine how long you receive the benefits, and how much money you are entitled to. For example, the state of New York gives its workers a maximum of two-thirds of their weekly wages, and benefits for the first seven days are only paid if the disability exceeds fourteen days.
Understand what your state pays, because that is what you stand to lose once you accept a lump sum settlement. Compare what you are getting in the settlement and what you are losing in the form of weekly benefits before deciding which route to take.
Medical Payments Benefits May Stop
Whether or not you will continue receiving the medical payments depends on your state's laws. Some states allow your insurers to terminate your medical payments while others require them to continue with the payments. Your workers' compensation agency or your lawyer should be able to tell you how your state handles this issue. This is another thing you must weigh against the benefits of receiving a large sum of money as a one-time settlement.
As you can see, issues to do with injury compensations are never straightforward. This is why you should carefully consider each step of the process before making a decision. It's always a good idea to do some research or consult an attorney like Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw before signing anything with the insurance company.Share