While no one expects to go into work and get hurt, it does happen sometimes. Accidents occur in many types of work environments, including factories, construction sites and offices. Injuries can range from minor scratches and bruises to traumatic brain injuries. That’s the reason why workers’ compensation was invented. Employees who get injured on the job are eligible to receive weekly payments for a certain period of time.
If you were recently injured at work, your employer’s insurance company may offer you a settlement soon. There are both advantages and disadvantages of accepting a settlement right away.
Advantages of Accepting a Settlement
- You’ll Get Your Money Sooner: One of the biggest upsides to accepting a settlement from the insurance company is getting your money in a quick time frame. If you decided to have a judge rule on a settlement in a hearing, you may have to wait a while.
- The Judge May Award You Less Money: If you go to trial to let the judge decide on a settlement, he or she may award you less money than the insurance company originally wanted.
- You May Receive More Money for Giving Up Your Right to Future Benefits: If you agree to give up the right to future benefits you probably won’t use, the insurance company might pay you extra money. For instance, if there’s a very small chance that you may need surgery in the future, you can ask the insurance company to pay you a fraction of the cost right now.
Disadvantages of Accepting a Settlement
- You May Spend a Lump Sum Settlement Too Soon: If your injury leaves your disabled and you agree to a lump sum settlement, you may be tempted to spend it right away. You won’t have weekly payments to help support your disability.
- You May Require Expensive Treatments Later: If your doctor tells you there is a good chance you will require surgery, physical therapy or another expensive treatment down the road, accepting a settlement right away could put you at risk. The settlement might not be enough to cover all the treatments you will need.
Consulting With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Deciding whether to accept a settlement right now or go to trial can be tough. It’s a decision that can affect your life for a long time. If you are having trouble figuring it out, you may want to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. A skilled lawyer has dealt with similar cases in the past and can give you the guidance you need.
After a workers compensation lawyer, he or she may advise you on the best way to move forward. Don’t leave any details out during your meeting with your lawyer. The more information your lawyer knows, the better he or she can help. Many workers’ compensation lawyers offer free initial consultations, so there is no risk to speaking to one.
If you were injured at work and want to make sure you qualify for maximum benefits, remember that there are workers’ compensation lawyers who can help you and provide you with more information, schedule a free consultation with a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer relies on.
Thank you to our contributors at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their knowledge about workers’ compensation benefits.