Workers Compensation Settlements
- Nobody can force you (or your employer) to settle you claim for a lump sum. Both parties must agree for a settlement to occur.
- If you are already getting benefits, you are entitled to get them indefinitely until your employer and its insurer take legal action to stop your benefits, change the amount of your benefits, or limit the duration of your benefits.
- If your employer or its insurer try to take that kind of legal action, you have the right to make them prove to a judge that action is justified. You can choose to have the judge decide that issue rather than settling your claim.
- You can settle only the wage benefit portion of your claim and leave the medical benefit portion "open" for ongoing payment of your medical benefits.
- Employers and their insurance companies do not like to leave the medical benefit claim "open." They will push to settle your whole claim.
- If you do settle the medical portion of your claim, too, there is no guarantee that anyone else will pay for your future medical care. So, you should get enough money to cover future medical expense.
- The settlement value of your claim (how much it is worth) depends on a variety of factors including:
- Your wages at the time of your injury
- Your future medical needs
- Whether or not your limitations are permanent or might improve
- Your education
- Your work history
- Your age
- The legal arguments being made in your case
- Other factors
- It is best to consult a lawyer about these factors and the value of your case.
- In many cases, special language should be included in your settlement agreement to minimize the impact of your settlement on existing or future receipt of Social Security Disability Benefits.
- But the use of that special language is not appropriate in some cases. In those cases, you might choose not to include such language after learning the reasons for including or not including the language.
- You might need to involve Medicare in the negotiation of your settlement and set up a Medicare Set Aside Account.
- There are different kinds of Medicare Set Aside Accounts. Not every kind may fit your needs.
- The Medicare Set Aside proposal to Medicare should accurately define you work injury. Otherwise, Medicare might refuse to pay for care having nothing to do with your work injury.
- The Medicare Set Aside should adequately provide for you future medical needs.
- You might need to provide for the repayment of others in your settlement, like Medical Assistance, Medicare, personal health insurers, and disability insurance companies.
- You can be held personally responsible for failing to repay others who were supposed to be repaid.
- There are other issues that can arise. This list is not meant to be exclusive
As you can see, settling your workers compensation claim by entering into a Compromise & Release Agreement (C&R) can be very complex. The lawyers at Warren & McGraw can advise you about all of these issues, and more. They are ready to help you settle your case and move on to the next stage of your life, if that is your goal. They are ready to fight for the settlement amount you deserve.
The lawyers at Warren & McGraw are equally ready to fight to maintain your benefits if that is what is in your best interests. Settlement is not the right option for everyone. You should only settle your case if that is the right option for you.