Before you sign a settlement agreement for your workers’ compensation case, you should take a few key steps first. Your goal is always to make sure that you are getting the most fair and appropriate settlement of your case.
- Talk to a Lawyer
Talking to a lawyer is first on the list. You need to speak to someone with experience settling workers’ compensation cases. A lawyer will know whether your settlement is fair or if you need more legal help to get a better result. Workers’ compensation lawyers in Minnesota work on contingency, so if a lawyer takes your case you pay nothing up front.
Do not wait until you have a settlement agreement in hand to talk to a lawyer. As soon as the insurance company begins hinting that it wants to settle, go to a legal consultation. You may need a lawyer even earlier if your benefits are denied.
- Review Your Circumstances
You should take some time to review your case before you accept a benefits settlement. Ask your doctor if you will need future medical care for your injury, and if he or she thinks you will need surgery. Consider your prospects of employment: can you perform your job with your work restrictions, do you need a new job, and are you receiving vocational rehabilitation? Also check on your income. If you have received wage-loss benefits, figure out how much longer you will qualify for them. See if you are eligible for retirement or government benefits.
In addition, a lawyer can help you review the strength of your claim for benefits. For example, your lawyer can tell you if you are more or less likely to prevail at a hearing on a benefits dispute. Your lawyer can tell you if you are entitled to more benefits than you currently receive.
- Figure Out How Much You Will Receive from the Settlement
Clarify the settlement offer with the insurance company and review the stipulation for settlement carefully. Does the settlement resolve all future claims for medical benefits, or does it leave future medical open? Will it pay you for wage-loss benefits you would have received in the future? Again, your lawyer should review the written agreement. If you do not have a lawyer, a judge must evaluate the entire settlement and sign off.
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.