A bad accident at work can change your entire life. Suffering serious and permanent injuries can not only cause significant emotional and physical pain, but they could also put you and your family in a position of unprecedented financial hardship. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you might be wondering if workers’ compensation gives you a settlement.
In general, workers’ compensation is there for you and your loved ones if you got hurt at work. The program can provide certain benefits for you and your family, such as medical expenses and loss of income if you qualify. Claimants typically receive their benefits weekly or every two weeks, like receiving a paycheck. However, you could receive a lump sum settlement from workers’ compensation.
The exact benefits you could receive, as well as the type of settlement, will depend on the severity of your injuries and the laws applying in the state you reside in. It will also depend on whether you could return to work, albeit in a reduced capacity. Since there are so many variables regarding workers’ compensation benefits and settlements, speaking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get clear on your rights and next best steps.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Every workers’ compensation claim is different. What you can receive will depend on your injuries and recovery period and whether you will have a permanent disability. However, workers’ compensation can generally offer the following benefits:
Loss of Wages
Workers’ compensation generally reimburses you for a loss of income of up to two-thirds of your pre-tax wage, up to a maximum amount.
Under the program, you can receive all your medical costs associated with your work injury or illness.
Depending on the state where you live, workers’ compensation can also offer career benefits for those having to retrain or change careers. These benefits could help pay for career change training or academic courses and licensing fees.
Settlements from Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation may give you a settlement in certain cases, specifically if you suffered severe and life-changing or permanently disabling injuries. You are unlikely to recover a settlement if you have a minor or moderate injury and cannot return to your previous job within a short-to-medium timeframe. If you have a permanent disability, however, you could receive a lump-sum settlement in some states once your claim is approved.
In some states, you may have the opportunity to receive a so-called structured settlement. In a structured settlement, an employer will typically pay out the amount owed to you in smaller installments over a period, such as a year or more, rather than pay you a lump sum settlement. You would normally enter a structured settlement agreement with your employer. The agreement should state the amount you will receive, the general terms of the settlement, and the length of the payout period.
Accepting a Settlement
When it comes to accepting a settlement, whether a lump sum or structured settlement, you must be aware of potential pitfalls. In some cases, you may decide to tackle a claim on your own. This can be a fairly straightforward process if you suffered a minor workplace injury, your employer is cooperating, and you missed only a small amount of work.
However, if you suffered significant and serious injuries, have pre-existing conditions, or other complexities, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer could help.
If you hope to achieve a workers’ compensation settlement, a lawyer can help you in several ways, including gathering the evidence needed to support your claim. A lawyer will also know how to negotiate effectively with an insurance company to aim for a fair settlement that covers your damages now and in the future. Moreover, if settlement negotiations fail to produce an adequate settlement for you, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you prepare for trial and represent you in court.
It is important to note that you are generally surrendering your rights to seek legal recourse when you accept a settlement. Therefore, it is crucial that a settlement adequately compensates you for your financial losses. Before you sign any settlement offers or agreements, you may want to run them by a workers’ compensation lawyer who can protect your rights. A lawyer will know when to accept a settlement or when it is time to fight for what you deserve in court.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one are filing a workers’ compensation claim and want to find out about options you might have, contact us. We can advise you comprehensively about your rights and any legal action you can take to help you get what you deserve.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 529-9122 today for a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our team.