When you need to recover workers’ compensation benefits, you may receive a lump sum settlement offer as opposed to weekly payments. If you accept this settlement offer, it can impact how you may proceed with your case, and it’s vital to recognize if this option is best for you.
Of course, suffering an injury on the job means you are in a vulnerable place, but there are some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to accepting a lump sum settlement. Below, we’ll detail some of the most important things you need to know about your workers’ comp case and what happens to it if you accept the insurance company’s offer.
Accepting a lump sum settlement may impact the following:
- Your future claims
- Your monthly payments
- Your expectation to work
Learn how each of these can change after accepting a lump sum settlement below.
No Further Claims
One of the main things that you need to remember when you accept a lump sum settlement is that you will not be able to make any further claims. If you have suffered some medical bills and are struggling to work, the lump sum payout will often come with your agreement to not pursue any further claims in the future. This means that any additional cost that you could incur will likely not be covered by the workers compensation policy. Because of this, you will need to make sure that you properly assess and estimate what your future costs could be.
No Monthly Payouts
In many situations, you might receive a monthly payment from your employer or the workers compensation insurance company while you are injured. However, this will quickly and as soon as you accept a lump sum payout. The calculation of the lump sum payout will typically include an assessment of what the insurance company is already providing you in the form of a monthly check.
Expectation to Work
Another important factor to consider when you accept a lump sum payout for your workers compensation claim is whether or not you are expected to go back to work. One of the reasons why workers compensation exists is because it will protect people who are not able to work due to an injury. If you have been injured while at work your ability to spend time not working may end after you accept a lump sum payout. This could mean that you could lose your job if you are not able to work, which will include losing any benefits you had been receiving in the interim time.
Lump Sum vs. Weekly Payments
Some of the advantages of a lump sum settlement include:
- Receiving the full amount now rather than getting weekly benefits over a number of years
- Avoiding defense medical exams that can impact the length of your benefits or how much you can recover
- Preventing scrutiny from insurance companies to determine your ongoing disability
With a weekly payment, you can benefit in the following ways:
- You can avoid an inadequate settlement offer for one lump sum
- You can continue your coverage for medical expenses over a longer period
- You can keep your employer and insurance provider liable for any complications that arise because of your workplace injury
Before you accept or deny any lump sum or payment agreement, make sure you speak with legal counsel who can help guide you. At ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP, our Jackson workers’ compensation attorneys put your needs first. We’ll help you make decisions that meet your needs and guide you throughout the process.