After a workplace injury, your employer or their attorney may pressure you to settle your workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, if you have not spoken to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys about your case, settling your case may not be in your best interest.
There are important things you must understand before you settle a case related to a workplace injury.
In Pennsylvania, you have the right to accept a lump-sum settlement for workers’ compensation if you have been out of work for more than three months due to a workplace injury. You can receive a settlement that includes both lost wages and medical expenses, but the law does not allow you to accept a settlement more than your weekly benefits multiplied by 500 weeks.
In other words, if you are receiving $1,000 per week in benefits, your settlement cannot be more than $500,000, even if that amount includes medical expenses. Once you accept the settlement, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company will no longer send you weekly benefits.
In most cases, your employer will request that you settle both your lost wages and your medical benefits at the same time. If you have not reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI), it is not in your best interest to settle your medical expenses.
You have reached MMI when you have improved all that you are going to improve and further medical treatment will not provide you any benefits. Even if your employer agrees not to include medical expenses in your settlement, you may face difficulty getting them to cover further treatments after you have settled with them on other areas of compensation.
There are several factors that you should take into account before deciding to settle your claim, according to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys. The settlement will be based on the amount of benefits you are entitled to in the future and the likelihood you will receive those benefits. Medical evidence will be used to determine the amount of your settlement.
If you are facing long-term disability, it would not be in your best interests to settle for less than what the doctors believe is the length of time you will be unable to work. On the other hand, if the doctors and insurance company disagree on your disability, it may be in your best interests to settle the case prior to any hearings that may be scheduled regarding your disability if there is a chance a judge will side with the insurer rather than the doctors.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job and an employer is pressuring you to settle your case, contact Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys at Lundy Law to discuss your case. We will review your situation and determine what is in your best interests. We will fight for your rights as we have for many others who have been in your situation. Contact us at 1-800-Lundy Law or complete the simple form online.