Most minor and moderate injury cases are settled with a lump-sum payment—a type of settlement that offers one large amount to the injured worker rather than weekly payments for lost wages. You can also negotiate a lump-sum settlement rather than continuing to receive weekly permanent disability payments. You can also settle any disputed amounts, past-due temporary disability payments and unreimbursed medical expenses.
You can also negotiate an agreement for a structured settlement in which you’ll receive payments over a period of time. In these cases, you don’t need to give up all of your future rights to medical care.
Estimating the value of a settlement is more complicated if you are on permanent total disability. This is because, your weekly benefits might continue for decades. Thus, estimating the settlement value has to take into account the present value of your future entitlement to benefits.
Why would I want a lump-sum settlement?
Some people prefer to settle their workers’ compensation claims for one large payment rather than weekly checks. It’s also crucial to have an attorney when trying to settle your case for a lump sum so you know you’re getting the true value of your case. If you are on permanent total disability and do not have a lawyer, you shouldn’t settle your case without speaking with a lawyer.
Settling your case for a lump sum takes careful consideration and a variety of factors must be analyzed. You and your attorney will go over what to consider when contemplating settlement. Retroactive payment after winning a disputed claim may also be in the form of a lump sum plus interest, and weekly benefits thereafter.
What if the injury does permanent damage?
You may be entitled to a specific loss award if you have permanently lost the use of an appendage. Loss of hearing or sight are compensable, as well as disfigurement.
Specific loss benefits are payable if you suffer an amputation or loss of use of various body parts, such as fingers, hands and toes. If you suffer a loss of hearing or vision, you are also entitled to be paid specific loss benefits. Any permanent or serious disfigurement (scars) of your head, neck or face entitles you to receive specific loss or scarring benefits. Payment for specific loss benefits are equal to your total disability benefit rate for the time period and the healing periods.
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