When should I accept a settlement for my workers compensation claim? This is an extremely important question that may have long-lasting ramifications.
Let’s assume that you have been injured in an accident at work. You applied for workers compensation benefits and were approved by your employer’s workers compensation insurance company. You have been receiving workers compensation benefits, but the insurance company is wanting you to settle the claim. In fact, the insurance company may be trying to pressure you into settling your claim.
Here is something important that you need to remember. Workers compensation settlements are voluntary. You cannot be forced to agree to a settlement proposal by the insurance company or your employer. By the same token, the insurance company or your employer do not have to agree to settle your workers compensation claim.
Best time to settle
With this in mind, when is the best time to settle your workers compensation claim? When should you accept a settlement for your workers compensation claim from the insurance company?
The first and possibly the most important thing you should know about when to accept a settlement is to have a workers compensation attorney that will counsel you and represent you in this matter. Settlement of a workers compensation claim is not a simple matter. There are several crucial issues that are involved in a settlement. If you accept a settlement of your workers compensation claim without having a workers compensation attorney standing with you, you may very well be signing away important benefits and rights that are rightfully yours.
A second major factor in determining when to accept a settlement for your workers compensation claim is that you need to have reached what is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI) before you accept a settlement. Maximum medical improvement means that you have reached a point where the doctor who is treating you believes that you will not recover any more than you already have from your work-related injury.
Your disability rating
When you reach maximum medical improvement, you should be assigned a permanent partial disability rating (PPD) or a medical impairment rating (MIR). Different states use slightly different terminology for these ratings. You should try and get a settlement of your claim that is based on this rating.
Another factor for when to settle your workers compensation claim is whether you are going to need medical treatment and care for your work-related injury in the future. If the nature of your injury is one where the need for future medical care and treatment is likely or certain, you will not want to accept a settlement until the cost of that future medical care and treatment can be evaluated and included as a part of the settlement.
If you have lost certain parts of your body, such as your eyes, ears, arm, hand, fingers, leg, foot or toes, you should not accept a settlement until an additional award is included for the lost part or parts of your body. Certain losses and injuries affect your ability to go back to work more than others do.
The best time to settle your workers compensation claim is when you have a workers compensation attorney fighting for you who will get you the best possible settlement of your claim.
- How Long Will it Take for my Workers Compensation Claim to be Processed (usworkerscomp.com)
- How do I Find Out the Status of my Workers Compensation Claim (usworkerscomp.com)