Things may be about to change with your workers' compensation case. If a ruling has been issued by the workers' comp insurer and you are being offered a settlement, it's vital to understand what will happen next. Read on and learn more.

Your Usual Benefits

Worker's comp provides hurt workers with both medical expense coverage and a partial disability wage if they are unable to work for a while. However, some workers end up being offered a settlement because their injury was found to be permanent. If you do not agree with the ruling of a permanent injury or if you have been told to return to work but are not well enough, you need to take action. Talk to a workers' comp lawyer about your case and act quickly to avoid missing appeal deadlines.

What to Expect With a Settlement

Workers' comp insurers are not in business to pay hurt workers. That means they won't automatically offer you a fair sum of money. Don't accept an inadequate settlement—in most cases, you cannot reopen a closed workers' comp case when you need more compensation later. It's important to understand how much you should be paid for your injury before you sign anything. Some workers are partially disabled and may be able to perform some work but not full-time or at the same level as they previously did. Some workers, unfortunately, are unable to work at any job at all. That means they are dependant on the settlement to replace what they might have earned had they not been injured. Here is what else you should know about the settlement process:

  • In most cases, the settlement will come to you in a single (lump sum) payment. However, structured settlements are also usually an option. With that form of settlement, you are paid in regular installments and the total sum paid might be higher than that of a single payment.
  • If you are too disabled to work, you might also qualify for other forms of assistance. Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) should be on your list of things to check out. Consult with a workers' comp lawyer to find out how to plan your settlement around SSDI so that your benefits are not reduced.
  • Settlements are entirely negotiable and you will need someone on your side who understands how much you should be paid for your injuries. Speak to a workers' comp lawyer and have them take over the negotiations for you.

Contact a workers' compensation lawyer in your area if you have more questions.