If you have suffered a workplace injury and are offered a settlement, you need to know your options. Most settlements are in a lump-sum, but some injured workers opt for structured payments. In the U.S., there were almost 900,000 workplace injuries in 2019!
When it comes to the average workers’ comp lump sum settlement, you must make sure you get what you deserve. Staying informed will help you make the right decision. Keep on reading to learn more about lump-sum settlements in Georgia.
How Lump Sum Settlements Work
If you get injured at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. The employer does not have to settle. They can accept the injury as work-related or decide to fight the claim if they choose.
The workers’ compensation insurer can also refuse to settle. If the insurer believes you have enough evidence to support the claim, they may offer to settle. If not, you can get an attorney to fight for you.
Often the workers’ compensation insurer will offer a lump sum settlement. They do this because the insurer wants to conclude the claim and close the matter. Generally, a settlement involves a one-time payment which means you will not receive any further benefits for the claim.
What About Structured Settlements?
If you opt for a structured settlement, you are agreeing to smaller payments which are made over time. The employer or the insurer will transfer the funds to another insurance company. That organization specializes in structured settlements.
With a structured settlement, you can negotiate terms. You can negotiate to receive payments monthly, several times a year or annually for an agreed to length of time. You can even arrange to have the payments continue to your family if you die.
There are risks you must consider with structured settlements. Unlike a lump sum settlement, you could lose money. If the company that handles the payments goes out of business or files bankruptcy, this could impact the money you receive.
Some companies encourage structured settlements because they are based on future income. The insurer only needs to have enough money in the bank to pay you a specific amount in the future. That amount gets calculated based on the present value.
The short way to explain that is that a dollar today might not be worth the same amount twenty years from now. The company gets to pay less when you think about it in those terms.
Your attorney can let you know if a structured settlement is the best option for your claim. With an experienced lawyer, you will get advice on every detail of the case.
Some people choose a structured settlement because it gives them a sense of security. They like the idea of knowing they will get a definite amount over time. It also keeps some people from overspending like they could with a large sum at once.
Lump-Sum Settlement Option
Due to risks, the average workers’ comp lump sum settlement is often the best option. You know what you will get upfront once everything gets calculated. You do not run the risk of the company not paying you in the future.
If you have been out of work for a while, you may have debts to pay off. Depending on how extensive your claim is, that could end up being a lot of money. Sometimes you cannot wait to get paid every week.
Even if the lump sum settlement is not large, it may be the best way to go. What would be the point in getting small amounts of money for years to come?
You may decide to pay off your home or buy a new one. You could pay off debts with a lump sum settlement option. You will have your money in a one-time amount to do with what you wish.
How Much Will You Get?
One of the first things clients want to know is how much money their case is worth. That answer is not the same for everyone. Much of that will depend on what part of your body got injured and to what extent.
For instance, some of your body parts are considered worth more than others. Large body parts like the back get more money than small parts like fingers, in most cases.
It also depends on how extensive your doctor considers the injury. He will calculate it based on percentages. So, a 40% injury could get you more money than a 30% injury.
Under certain circumstances you have the right to receive an independent medical examination from a doctor of your choice. Make sure you use your doctor to get a second opinion. The average workers’ lump sum settlement could be less if the only opinion comes from the company doctors. Those doctors are paid by the employer and insurer, so your interests may not be their top priority.
Your attorney will help you find a doctor you can trust. Many employers will give you a panel of choices from doctors they will allow you to see. It is a good idea to get a second opinion from a doctor not affiliated with that company.
Once you see the doctors, your attorney will negotiate on your behalf. The amount you get will also depend on your salary at the time of injury and whether the doctors say you can work again. You could get more for medical bills and future medical care you may need.
Navigating Your Lump Sum Settlement
Many people have never filed a workers’ comp claim before. They know nothing about lump-sum settlements. You need someone to help you navigate the workings of a claim.
Going it alone can get overwhelming. A lawyer familiar with workers’ compensation will know all the best options.
An experienced firm will give you a better chance of getting the benefits you deserve in a lump sum settlement. We take workers’ comp cases on contingency, so there is no risk to you. If you have been injured at work, contact us today and let us help.