Settling A Workers’ Compensation Claim Can Mean Giving Up Lifetime Benefits
Settling a workers' compensation claim, may mean giving up lifetime benefits. That is why it is best to discuss your case with an experienced workers' compensation attorney at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini. When you have a workers’ compensation claim or are receiving benefits, the insurance company is more than likely to contact you about settling. In some circumstances this may be a good idea, but all the elements of a case need to be examined first. Even if you think that a settlement is less hassle than making or maintaining a workers’ compensation claim, it is still worth it to have an attorney on your side negotiating with the insurance company. The most important thing to remember when thinking about accepting a settlement is to see if the settlement award will be enough to see you through recovery or be enough to support you in the case of a permanent injury. Moreover, understanding a settlement is knowing what rights you may be giving up. In Pennsylvania workers' compensation settlements are called “compromise and release agreements.” When a claim is settled, the worker typically gives up the right to all workers' compensation benefits in exchange for the lump sum settlement. In Pennsylvania, if you are already getting workers' compensation benefits, you should not discuss settling your workers’ compensation claim without speaking to a workers’ compensation attorney first. Although most workers' compensation settlements are paid out in full, there are other alternatives, such as a structured over time payment for those requiring long-term care. This kind of a settlement can be paid in a number of ways including annually, every few years or every month. Again, this is something that should be discussed with an experienced Melaragno, Placidi & Parini workers' compensation attorney. The settlement process is complicated and complex. Without an attorney at your side, you could be at a disadvantage when negotiating your settlement. Although many injured workers would like to have their claims settled quickly, the timing of settlement can greatly impact the value of the settlement. When facing a decision to settle or not to settle it is well worth the time to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of doing so with a workers' compensation attorney that knows the system inside and out. At Melaragno, Placidi & Parini, we can help you assess the benefits and/or disadvantages to allow you to make an informed decision. Workers' compensation settlements are approved by a workers' compensation judge. If you have agreed to settle, the Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication sets up a hearing. If you completely understand what you may be giving up and you and/or your attorney make that clear, the settlement is approved. Be aware that once a settlement is approved, it is final and you cannot demand additional benefits. Most injured workers considering the settlement route either discuss their choices with a workers' compensation attorney or have the attorney with them at the hearing. Our main focus when working with an injured worker is to address their needs and help them not only understand how the system works, but how to navigate their way through a claim. At times it can be frustrating, but we do not quit until we have a good outcome for injured workers. If you have any questions about a possible workers’ compensation case or whether to settle, please give us a call today. We are here to answer your questions. At Melaragno, Placidi & Parini we can be your voice to navigate the complex workers’ compensation system.