If you have an ongoing workers’ compensation case, you may wonder if a lawyer can help you settle it. Settlement does not happen in every situation, but it could be an option depending on your claims.
What Is a Settlement?
A settlement is an agreement between an injured worker and the workers’ compensation insurance company. A worker agrees to release some or all of his claims for workers’ comp benefits, while the insurance company agrees to pay him compensation for the release.
In workers’ compensation cases, workers may release all of their claims for benefits or just some. For example, someone might receive a payment in exchange for releasing any claim to wage loss benefits. But he would retain his right to request benefits for future medical expenses.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Consider Settlement?
Many injured workers choose to hire lawyers to assist with the workers’ compensation process. While having a lawyer is no guarantee that you will receive a settlement offer, it could help. Your lawyer can build up strong arguments that you should receive even more benefits. As the insurance company sees the future bills and the potential of losing at a hearing grow, it may be more inclined to settle.
If you do receive a settlement offer, your lawyer can help you consider whether to accept it. The insurance company may make a lowball offer to an unrepresented injured worker, who may not know what his case is worth. With experience handling similar cases with the same insurance companies, many lawyers know if a settlement offer is reasonable or not. Lawyers also know how to avoid pitfalls such as unintentionally releasing future medical claims in the settlement agreement.
What Are the Benefits of Settling Your Case?
When considering a settlement offer, you probably will wonder about the pros and cons of settling. A settlement effectively ends your workers’ comp case if you release all future claims to benefits. If you retain the right to receive future medical benefits or only settle as to one medical procedure or wage loss issue, then your case may continue. In return, you get some kind of monetary payment from the insurance company – either a lump sum or maybe payment over time.
Depending on the settlement offer, you could receive a fair amount compensating you for benefits due, or you could receive very little in comparison to how severe your injury is. You and your lawyer will need to carefully calculate your medical expenses to date, projected future expenses, and wage losses to determine if the settlement offer is worth it.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.