While much of the discussion surrounding workers’ compensation claims involve the process of appealing a denial, some cases result in a negotiated settlement between all parties. These settlements are important for an injured worker, as it represents the only time they could obtain benefits from this particular claim.
Any worker injured during the scope of their employment might consider a settlement offer at some point during the life of their claim. While some offers can be fair, many are designed to limit the insurance companies’ liability and leave you with the bulk of your future medical expenses. It is best to discuss your case with a seasoned Beaufort workers’ compensation lawyer. An experienced Beaufort personal injury attorney could advise you on what to consider before entering into Beaufort workers’ compensation settlements.
Parties Involved in Settlements
To understand how these settlements occur, it is first important to grasp which parties are involved in the settlement process. Obviously, the injured worker and their attorney are an important part of any settlement. Across the negotiating table from the worker is the employer’s insurance company. While the employer has a part in any workers’ compensation case, it is ultimately up to the insurance company whether or not to reach a settlement.
The treating physician also has a role in the settlement, although not in negotiating it. The forms provided by the doctor will give both parties insight into the severity of the injuries and the future prognosis for recovery. This is vital given the major role future medical costs can play in a settlement.
A settlement is not final after the two sides agree. The final step is approval from the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. If the Commission agrees to the terms of the settlement, then the agreement will become finalized.
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Important Considerations Prior to Settling
More goes into a workers’ compensation settlement agreement than ensuring a workers’ medical bills are paid. As long as a workers’ compensation case is active, the claimant could continue to seek medical treatment. Unless otherwise specified, this access to treatment comes to an end once the settlement is final. Given this finality, it is vital for a worker to ensure the amount they agree to is enough to meet their needs now and into the future.
The same consideration should be given by any worker considering Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits could be available during the workers’ compensation process. That said, once a settlement is finalized, access to these benefits could be gone forever. A Beaufort workers’ compensation settlement should offset any amount a worker expects to rely on from Social Security Disability benefits for the rest of their life.
One of the most important considerations during the settlement process is the worker’s prospects for future employment. For example, the future financial needs of an accountant nearing retirement might not be the same as a 19-year-old construction worker. While the accountant might be able to continue with their profession with significant impairment, the same might not be true for the construction worker.
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Reach Out to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The process of evaluating and settling a workers’ compensation claim is complex from beginning to end. This process is made more difficult given the aggressive nature of many insurers.
If you are pursuing a workers’ compensation settlement, it is vital that you consult with legal counsel before resolving your claim. Your attorney might rely on their experience to highlight an aspect of the settlement offer you may not have considered. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case and Beaufort workers’ compensation settlements.