You’ve been injured at work and decide to file for workers’ compensation, but the insurance company wants to give you a lump sum instead.
How should you proceed?
There are several advantages to reaching a settlement, but what does that mean in the long run?
Below are the pros and cons to settling a workers’ compensation case. Before you make any kind of decision, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer.
Pros of settling your workers’ comp claim
If you do decide to settle your case, here are some of the advantages.
1. Lump sum or pay plan
If you need a lump sum sooner rather than later to help pay for medical expenses, injured workers have the option to settle for a 1-time check. However, if you’d prefer to receive a series of smaller payments for a stipulated number of weeks, this can be negotiated with the insurance company as part of the settlement.
If you’re still collecting the agreed-upon figure, you and your attorney have the option to open negotiations again with the insurance company to change the original lump sum or edit the payment plan. However, ending the negotiations tends to be appealing.
3. Ending litigations
The litigation process can be so long and tedious that by the time you finish, it almost doesn’t seem worth the effort. Consulting with your workers’ comp attorney can help make the process shorter so you can avoid going to trial and start collecting the agreed-upon sum.
Cons of settling your workers’ comp claim
Before you reach a settlement, here are some of the disadvantages that you should be aware of.
1. Judge may lower amount
Many injured workers like having the option to renegotiate in the future if they feel they settled for a lower amount than what they needed to cover medical expenses. While it’s possible to do this, you run the risk of your case going to trial and lowering the amount originally agreed upon. A judge may feel that you’re receiving too much and decrease what the insurance company owes you.
2. Insurance company may lowball
It’s possible that the insurance company will try to offer you a lower sum than what you deserve from the get-go, especially if you decide to take a lump sum. This is why hiring a workers’ comp attorney can be beneficial as they can help you avoid receiving less than what you need.
3. Void rights
Settling for a lump sum means you lose your rights to any future benefits, which can be detrimental if your doctor decides you need an expensive prescription drug or major surgery as part of the recovery process. If you settle for a lump sum, you won’t be able to get more from the insurance company to help pay for these treatments.
What’s the right decision for you?
That’s a diagnosis only you can make, but you don’t have to make it alone. A professional Montana attorney with workers’ comp experience can help. Reach out to a trusted lawyer in your area today to help with your compensation claim.