Lump Sum Settlements
Workers’ Compensation benefits are designed to provide financial relief for someone who has been injured on the job. This includes the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, job training, disability payments, and other costs that are directly related to the injury. In most cases, injured employees receive weekly payments based on the severity of the injury. However, it is possible for the employee to negotiate a lump sum settlement with the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. Before making this decision, there are some important things to consider, which you can discuss with one of our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers.
It may be in the best interest of the injured employee to accept a lump sum settlement if the case is disputed, if there is a chance the employee may not win, or if their medical issue is resolved and they are no longer going to seek treatment. In fact, the optimal time to settle a Workers’ Compensation claim is when an employee has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means that the employee has recovered as much as they are going to from the injury. When a lump sum settlement amount has been reached, the employee must understand that it is a final settlement and that they may not reopen the case at a later date. Therefore, if the employee settles before reaching MMI, it is crucial that the settlement includes additional money for any future medical care that may be necessary.
Weekly Benefits Will Stop
Once an employee settles a Workers’ Compensation claim, they will stop receiving weekly benefits from the employer’s insurance company. This is important to consider because some injuries can cause long-term health conditions that can affect the employee’s health for years to come. A lump sum settlement will not cover the cost to treat these conditions if they appear after the settlement has been finalized.
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission must approve the settlement
Before a lump sum settlement can be finalized, the Commission must review and approve all settlement agreements and stipulations. This includes reviewing the payment amount in comparison to the weekly benefit payments the employee had been receiving. Official paperwork and documentary proof must be filed with the Commission in order for the settlement to be approved.
Understand How a Settlement is Calculated
Workers’ Compensation claims do not include pain and suffering, so employees should consider the following factors when calculating the value of a settlement. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can provide valuable insight during this process:
- Estimate future benefits: Because your settlement is going to include future benefits you may receive, try to estimate – as accurately as possible – what those amounts might be. Look at medical documentation and consult with your physician and other medical experts to determine the estimated cost of future treatment. If you underestimate, you will not have the option to renegotiate your settlement once it is final.
- Consider the possibility of not qualifying for benefits: If you do not qualify for benefits due to the likelihood of a short recovery, you may want to consider a lump sum settlement because you may be able to collect more than you would from the benefits provided by state law.
Anyone interested in pursuing a lump sum settlement in the state of Maryland can find the settlement worksheet on the Maryland Workers’ Compensation website. The document is entitled the Full and Final Settlement Agreement and can be filled out individually or with the help of an attorney. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer who knows when to accept a lump sum settlement and how to obtain the best possible financial outcome.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist Injured Employees With Lump Sum Settlements
If you have been injured at work and you are unsure about whether to file a Workers’ Compensation claim or a lump sum settlement, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We understand the complex nature of the claims process, as well as when it is in your best interest to pursue a lump sum settlement. We will help you determine which is the best course of action based on your injury, and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. Call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.