Don't Sign That Workers' Comp Settlement Until...
After a work injury, it can be tempting to get everything over with as soon as possible. This, however, might be one time that it pays to take your time before you sign on the dotted line. Before you agree to a lump-sum settlement, be sure to consider everything because most workers' comp settlements cannot be reopened once closed. To help you understand the implications, read below.
Know Something About the Future
You don't have to be a fortune teller but you should not base the amount of your workers' comp settlement on your current needs. No matter how much a large cash infusion would benefit your budget, you must consider what your future needs could be. Depending on the nature of your injury and your age, you might never be able to work in your chosen career field again. That means the money you get has to last you a long time. To ensure you get what you need, speak to a workers' comp lawyer about your situation. Then, a special medical exam will be performed to determine the nature of your injury and your future prognosis. The lawyer will determine how much your lump-sum payment should be based on your education, income, age, and other similar workers' comp cases in the area. In some cases, vocational experts are consulted to determine your ability to work at other jobs. This research allows the lawyer to arrive at a suitable lump-sum amount to ask the insurer for.
Understanding How the Settlement Affects Other Benefits
When someone cannot work at their job anymore, they may be eligible for a number of benefits. One big benefit is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Unfortunately, the amount of your workers' comp lump-sum settlement could affect your ability to qualify for other benefits like SSDI. Your workers' comp lawyer understands how to ensure that you are paid the maximum from all resources possible.
Dealing With Structured Payment Plans
You might be offered more money overall if you agree to be paid in regular payments instead of a lump sum. You can even have a hybrid with a small lump sum and then regular monthly or quarterly payments. Your needs will determine the direction you take but structured deals can result in more money than total lump-sum agreements.
Settlements Are Completely Negotiable
You don't have to take what the workers' comp insurer initially offers you but many hurt workers make that mistake. You may not realize how to deal with these large and intimidating insurers but your workers' comp lawyer understands how to negotiate for what you need. To learn more about what to do before you agree to a settlement, speak to a workers' comp lawyer.