Workers’ Compensation SettlementDecember 14, 2017
At any stage during Workers’ Compensation proceedings, workers in Maryland who suffer a workplace injury may choose to pursue a full and final settlement. There is no requirement to settle a Workers’ Compensation case but once it is settled, it may not be reopened. It is therefore prudent for injured workers to enlist the help of an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer in Baltimore who can help them navigate the settlement process.
The employer or insurer typically provides the injured worker with a lump sum of money in exchange for closing the case. They may also waive all or part of the Workers’ Compensation lien that is created when all medical bills are paid off by Workers’ Compensation. If the injured worker has a personal injury case, this may allow them to obtain a higher recovery and to collect more net proceeds in that case.
Claimants will be rated by two doctors as to their percentage of impairment that was caused by the workplace injury. One doctor is chosen by the claimant’s attorney and the other is an independent medical examination (IME) doctor chosen by the employer or insurer’s attorney. The fee for the claimant’s rating doctor will be deducted from the settlement amount and noted on the full and final settlement agreement, which is signed by the attorneys, parties and the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Factors to Consider
Some considerations to take into account before deciding to pursue a full and final Workers’ Compensation settlement include:
- Whether the case is disputed, regarding permanency or other issues
- Whether the injured person has a good chance of winning his or her case
- Whether the injured worker needs additional medical treatment
Generally, injured employees should only enter into a full and final settlement if they know that their workplace injury will not require further medical treatment, procedures, or surgeries and if they are offered a reasonable amount of money.
The claimant’s attorney will be able to help them determine if they should pursue a full and final settlement. Attorneys’ fees are set by the Workers’ Compensation Commission and these expenses, along with the doctor fees and other expenses, will be deducted from the lump sum settlement amount.
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation website contains a settlement worksheet which can be completed by the injured worker or their attorney. Basic information about the case will need to be provided, including the injured worker’s average weekly wage and the amount of temporary total disability benefits that have been paid up to the date of filling out the application.
The injured worker and his or her attorney will sign the agreement, followed by the employer or insurer. The Workers’ Compensation Commission must then approve the agreement for it to become effective.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Injured Workers Pursue Full and Final Settlements
If you have suffered a workplace injury and are now considering entering into a full and final Workers’ Compensation settlement, contact an experienced Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or submit an online form to schedule a consultation.