In some workers’ compensation benefits cases, the injured worker, their employer, and the insurer will reach a voluntary settlement agreement. The purpose of the deal is to settle and close out benefits disputes for a set amount of money.
Once you and your employer agree and receive the funds, the action is permanently closed, and you cannot accept any additional funds for the injury in the future. While it may be the correct avenue to take in certain situations, it is always best to speak with an experienced workplace injury attorney about workers’ compensation settlements in High Ridge before finalizing any agreement.
Settling Workers’ Compensation Claims
Settling a workers’ compensation claim in High Ridge will mean not receiving any more compensation for the injuries, regardless of if there is trouble in the future. However, if the injured party knows of and can prove they will require future health care, they can bring that up during settlement negotiations. Sometimes, all parties agree to provide compensation in the settlement for the cost of future medical care.
The individual will be in the best position to agree on a settlement after healthcare providers advise the patient to reach their maximum medical improvement or MMI. If workers sign an agreement before the MMI, it is risky. They may learn more about their injury and ongoing disabilities after settlement and have no options for recovering additional funds.
Many insurers in today’s healthcare climate exclude treatment or coverage for work-related medical bills after settlement. Thus, assuming a person’s medical insurance will provide coverage for treatment is also a gamble.
The Workers’ Compensation Settlement Process
Many workers’ comp cases settle without a hearing. However, when the involved parties cannot agree without a mediator, there is a dispute resolution process to help them. The administrative judge overseeing the conference could answer questions on injury settlement amounts and the paperwork.
After agreeing on a settlement amount, the judge must approve and sign the order to complete it and move forward with payment. There are countless things to consider and understand before agreeing on a workers’ compensation settlement amount. Many reach out to knowledgeable legal professionals to avoid unpleasant surprises and protect themselves before signing High Ridge workers’ compensation settlements and agreements.
The Essential Factors to Consider Before a Settlement
It is vital to remember that the insurer or employer offering a settlement to close out the case for benefits is an option. The injured party does not have to agree to any settlement amounts if they feel uncomfortable with the agreement specifics. According to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the injured party must consider the following factors to protect their best interest before signing a settlement agreement:
- The total amount of compensation they received for their injury and medical care, and speak with legal counsel if necessary
- If the insurer has paid for all required expenses, including travel expenses for doctor appointments or procedures
- Whether the insurer paid all medical bills relating to the injury
- The total cost of future medical care
- If the settlement will have an adverse effect on Social Security or disability benefits
- Whether they will hold gainful employment in the future
Working with an experienced lawyer in High Ridge during the workers’ compensation settlement process is always a sound decision.
Schedule a Meeting with a High Ridge Attorney to Discuss Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Sometimes, settling a worker’s compensation claim is the right choice; in other cases, there are too many risks. There are many factors to consider before agreeing, and you must ensure you are protecting your health and future.