Lump Sum Settlements
Injured workers receiving weekly Workers Compensation benefits could be eligible for a large lump sum settlement. Though not always the case, insurance companies will often make settlement offers instead of the uncertainty of having to pay weekly benefits many years into the future.
Because these settlements will end your weekly checks, it’s important to have a Workers Compensation attorney who knows whether your settlement is a good one. Some lawyers always push for these settlements. While they’re often the best option, our Workers Compensation lawyers take the time to go over the pros and cons with our clients so that they can make an educated decision.What is a Lump Sum Settlement?
In Massachusetts, most injured workers are eligible to trade weekly disability checks for a one-time lump sum settlement. That means that the insurance company would make one large payment to you instead of paying your weekly benefits.
Lump sum settlements occur when both the injured worker and the insurance company feel that settlement is practical for each side. Every lump sum settlement proposal must be submitted for approval through the Department of Industrial Accidents. An administrator, usually a judge, must agree that a settlement is in the injured workers best interests. An injured employee should always use a lawyer to pursue a settlement to make sure the insurance company plays fairly.Will the Insurance Company Still Pay My Medical Bills?
The injured workers right to medical treatment can never be waived or resolved by lump sum settlement. That means that the insurance company will still have to pay your medical bills for necessary treatment.
However, lump sum settlements can be made with or without liability. With liability means the insurer cannot close out the right to ongoing medical treatment. They will pay your medical bills forever, as long as the treatment is reasonable and necessary.
Without liability means that with the settlement, the insurer owes no further obligations to the injured worker. This includes not having to pay medical expenses. This can be advantageous in certain circumstances.
For example, if the injured worker has multiple aches, pains and injuries, It is possible that an injured body part may not be covered under a lump sum settlement where the condition pre-dated the work injury and was not made worse by the work injury. A lawyer for the injured person will always spell out in the agreement just what is and is not covered by the lump sum settlement.How Much Will the Lump Sum Settlement Be?
Lump sum settlements represent a certain period of future weekly benefits paid at one time. Injured workers are entitled to three years of temporary total benefits, four or five years of partial disability benefits, and maybe a lifetime of permanent and total benefits. In consultation with your workers compensation lawyer, the injured worker needs to understand what category of disability he or she falls under.
An insurer may offer a worker with a back sprain six months’ to a years’ worth of benefits by lump sum settlement. The employee’s insurer may demand two years of benefits; often, lump sum settlement will be negotiated for some agreeable number in the middle.Do I Have to Take a Lump Sum?
The injured worker can never be compelled to accept a settlement. Some workers are so severely injured that insurers are reluctant to lump sum settle for the fair amount demanded by the employee’s attorney. Settlement often must take into account a figure that the insurer must pay for permanent impairment.Should I Take the Settlement?
Reasons for settlement are many. It may help the injured worker obtain payment of social security disability benefits; otherwise, offset by a high weekly compensation check. It may help give a financial cushion to a worker who has found another job. In a highly contentious case where the injury and circumstances are contested, and the injured worker is otherwise covered by health insurance, it may be a good way to buy peace and to say face for all concerned.Experienced Lowell Workers Compensation Attorneys
The Lowell Workers Compensation Lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm are ready to help you lump sum settle your workers compensation claim. Our attorneys have settled thousands of them in total over the past forty years.
If you were injured at work, the right attorney can be what’s preventing you from making a bad decision on a settlement. Call the Lowell Workers Compensation Attorneys at Marcotte Law Firm for a free consultation.