Almost all hurt workers that have to file workers' comp claims are only out of work temporarily. Once their injury heals, they are back on the job. Unfortunately, some workers are saddled with permanent injuries that don't heal. They are not likely to return to their previous job, and some may be unable to work at any job. When that happens, the workers' comp insurer may offer you a settlement. Read on and learn about what hurt workers need to consider before they sign away their rights.
Think about future needs
Workers' comp settlements may seem large and generous until you do the math. If you cannot work at any job or if your income is limited by your disability, your lifetime earning potential is severely limited. You are entitled to be paid for every year of work until retirement if you are no longer able to work.
Consider other benefits
A workers' comp settlement is not just about the money. You may be eligible for other benefits too. For example, you might be interested in working if you could be trained for a new job. If you are not offered things like rehabilitative services, speak to a workers' comp lawyer.
Lump sum or structured?
Many hurt workers have been out of work for so long that their financial situation is in chaos. While you might have been receiving a partial disability wage for a few months, that money is only a percentage of your usual pay. That situation can make hurt workers too quick to accept a large lump sum rather than a structured settlement. A structured settlement means the lump sum is paid in monthly or weekly increments rather than all at once. On the plus side, victims of a workplace accident or illness can negotiate for a larger overall settlement if they agree to a structured settlement. This is a complex issue that requires the expertise of a workers' comp lawyer to help you sort everything out.
What about your medical needs?
Don't take it for granted that your past and future medical bills will be paid by the settlement. Find about that and about your ability to qualify for Medicaid in your state if you do accept a settlement.
Know what to expect
The amount you get offered is based on several things. Your previous salary, age, education, and your disability all come into it. Also, the amounts of workers' comp settlements in your area are of prime importance. Your workers' comp lawyer will know how much you should be getting and will know how to make sure you get it. Speak to a workers' compensation attorney if a settlement is in your near future.
The phrase "you get what you deserve" is sometimes taken out of context to mean that you can just sit there, and one day what you deserve will land in your lap. For most people, this is just not true. You have to fight for what you deserve, and if you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, what you deserve is compensation. Luckily, you do not have to fight alone. Hiring a personal injury attorney will go a long way towards ensuring you're awarded the compensation you deserve, either in court or via a settlement. Read more in the articles we've collected here.