A settlement, in most cases, is final. For those suffering from workplace injuries, it's vital to be careful when agreeing to a settlement. Read on to find out more about workers' compensation settlements and what to do when your settlement deserves another look.
Workers' Comp Settlements
Settlements come about when a worker is so badly injured by an accident that they can no longer work at their previous job. In some cases, unfortunately, workers are unable to work at any job whatsoever. A settlement is all about money. It's an attempt to reimburse a hurt worker for the income they are owed along with future wages. Workers are usually paid based on:
- The severity of the injuries
- The potential to work at another job or to be retrained to work at another job
- The pay of the hurt work before the accident
- Personal characteristics of the hurt worker like their education, age, training, and other similar cases in the area
If You Are Ready to Settle
Don't try to deal with a workers' compensation settlement on your own. Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer and get guidance throughout the settlement negotiation period. Your lawyer has experience in determining how much you should be paid after a work accident. They will work with the insurers to arrive at a settlement that is adequate. They may also help you decide about taking all the money at once (lump sum) or spreading the payments out (structured).
If You Have Already Agreed to a Settlement
Speak to a lawyer if you have not already done so. You may be able to stop the settlement process depending on how far things have gone. For instance, a verbal agreement to settle for a certain sum of money is not the same thing as signing an agreement. If you have signed the paperwork, it may still be possible to alter the settlement if your issue falls under a list of exceptions. However, a settlement is a legal release of your employer and the workers' compensation insurer, and it can be difficult to reopen the case.
Reopening the Case
The below issues might be reason enough to reopen your workers' compensation case:
- The settlement had errors. Dates, times, medical conditions, and all other details must be exact.
- Fraud is involved. That means you were lied to, made fraudulent promises, or fraudulent information was used to create the settlement.
- The hurt ex-worker's medical condition has worsened significantly since the time of the signing.
- The settlement contained a clause allowing for the case to be reopened in certain eventualities.
To find out more, speak to your work injury lawyer.