In workers compensation claims that involve a permanent total disability or a permanent partial disability, injured workers can choose whether or not they want to settle their case with the insurance company (i.e., their employer’s insurance company) that is paying their weekly benefits. While choosing to settle a workers’ compensation claim can yield a large lump-sum payment for injured workers, this choice is extremely important and can affect the injured worker for years to come. It’s important to point out that:
- Should injured workers choose not to settle their claim, they will continue receiving weekly benefits via a structured payment for the duration of their claim (which can be life-long in the event of a permanent total disability).
- Injured workers should never accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company, as these offers are typically drastically lower than what is deserved in the case.
- A skilled workers compensation attorney can be essential in helping you decide whether or not it’s more beneficial for an injured worker to opt for a settlement or to continue receiving weekly benefit payments.
When Settling for a Lump Sum Payment Does NOT Make Sense (Cents)
When deciding whether to settle for a lump sum payment in workers compensation cases, there are a number of factors to consider, including:
- Whether the claim is being disputed by the insurance company (In disputed cases, opting for a settlement can make sense as it provides certain payment to the injured worker.)
- The total value of the current and possibly extended claim
- The likelihood that benefits will continue and/or that a condition may worsen
In general, it is not a good idea to accept a lump sum settlement from an insurance company for a workers compensation claim if:
- An injured worker will likely be eligible to extended benefits (for example, if the worker will be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits after his temporary total disability benefits have expired).
- There is a strong possibility that the injured worker’s condition will worsen. In these cases, if the injured worker has already settled his claim but his condition worsens later on, he will be out of luck and can no longer try to get additional benefits for his worsened claim.
- The settlement offer is grossly less than the value of the injured worker’s claim.
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon workers compensation lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their workplace injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you or a loved one has sustained any type of injury while working, contact us by calling (800)-553-3125 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.