Four Things to Know About Settling Your Workers' Compensation Claim
There are many advantages to settling your workers’ compensation claim, and Georgia law encourages workers’ compensation settlements as well. By settling your claim, you can shorten the wait time between the close of the case and when you receive your compensation, and you also avoid the hassle of going through a workers’ compensation hearing. Familiarize yourself with the following guidelines regarding settling your workers’ compensation case in Georgia, and contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Christopher Simon Attorney at Law for assistance with settling your workers’ compensation claim.
1. There Are Two Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Georgia: Liability Settlements and Non-liability Settlements
When there is no dispute as to whether you are eligible for benefits, and your employer’s insurance company has already agreed to pay you a certain amount of money to resolve your claim, you are considered to be entering into a liability settlement. When there is a dispute as to your eligibility, on the other hand, you are considered to be entering into a non-liability settlement. Essentially, a non-liability settlement is an “agree to disagree” situation whereby your employer agrees to pay you some compensation for your injuries just to make your claim go away.
2. You Should Wait Until You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement to Settle Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
While you can technically settle your workers’ compensation claim at any time, it is best to wait until you’re healed, or you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), to pursue a settlement. It can be difficult to value a settlement while you’re still healing, and you want to make sure all your medical treatments, procedures, and medications are taken into consideration when negotiating a settlement.
3. Most Settlements Are Paid in a Lump Sum
Without a doubt, your top priority is receiving the money owed to you. The good news is in most cases, you will be paid a lump sum payment, so you don’t have to sit around waiting for each payment to come through. However, there are instances in which your employer’s insurance company may choose to proceed with a structured settlement instead. Structured settlements are typically used when your work injury left you with a permanent disability, or you require long-term care. In such instances when it would make more sense to issue monthly or yearly payments to you, the insurance company may opt for a structured settlement.
4. You Give up Rights to Future Claims by Settling
One important caveat of settling your workers’ compensation claim that many people don’t know is that when you settle your claim, you are giving up all rights to file additional claims in the future. That means if your condition worsens in the future, you won’t be able to file another claim for your new or aggravated symptoms. While there are exceptions, this rule holds true the vast majority of the time. However, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney about your specific case so you fully understand your rights after settling your workers’ compensation claim.
If you are considering settling your workers’ compensation claim, make sure you speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to learn about your rights and options. Our attorneys have settled numerous workers’ compensation claims and helped our clients recover the maximum amount available for their injury. Call us at 404-259-7635 or visit our website today to schedule your free consultation.