Workers' Comp Settlements
Periodic Payments and Lump Sum Settlements
In many workers' compensation cases, the beneficiary receives periodic payments on an ongoing basis. If the worker is receiving temporary partial or total disability benefits, then he or she will continue to receive payments until reaching the maximum medical improvement. If, on the other hand, you have been approved for permanent total disability benefits, then you can expect to continue receiving payments for the rest of your life. In some situations, the case will be closed when the insurance company and the claimant reach a settlement. If you have been offered a settlement for your workers' compensation claim, then you should not take any further action before consulting with an attorney from Clawson & Clawson, LLP.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may or may not be in your best interest to accept a settlement offer. What you must remember is that the insurance company is in business to make money, and so the company's representatives are not at all likely to be generous when offering you payment. Our firm's Colorado Springs workers' comp lawyers can review the situation to determine whether it is a fair offer, as well as represent you in negotiations with the insurance company over the amount and type of settlement. An attorney can help you determine whether accepting an offer of periodic payments or a lump sum is best for you.
Why You Shouldn't Accept a Workers' Comp Settlement
Perhaps the primary advantage to accepting a lump sum settlement is that it offers you the opportunity of obtaining workers' comp benefits without having to engage in a lengthy legal battle. There are, however, disadvantages that must be considered. As mentioned above, the offered amount may be less — often substantially less — than the amount you deserve. There is also the fact that by accepting the settlement, you will be waiving your right to pursue the claim any further. This would mean that if your condition should worsen, you would not be able to claim further medical benefits and would have to pay for additional treatment yourself.
Additionally, by accepting the settlement, you would no longer be able to convert your benefits from permanent partial disability to permanent total disability. It is one of the rights of an injured worker to reopen a case, but if you accept a settlement, then you will be waiving that right. Our goal is to do whatever is in your best interest, and we are ready to meet with you for a free consultation to help you make an informed decision about how to proceed.