If you were hurt in the course of your employment, there are two ways to collect payments that compensate your injuries.
The first way is to continue collecting checks over time through the usual weekly payment process. Workers will keep receiving a weekly check that should provide partial wage reimbursement and cover the costs of reasonable and necessary medical care for the length of the disability. The other option for workers is to seek a settlement. A settlement immediately ends the claim and can grant injured employees a significant sum of money. However, for the remainder of the time you need to receive medical care, you are responsible for paying your own expenses.
Whether or not to pursue a settlement is an important and personal choice. Working with a Henrico County lawyer can help you decide if this choice is right for you and then negotiate a proper workers’ compensation settlement with the insurance company if desired.
A workers’ compensation claim can be a very lengthy legal process, as incidents involving severe losses could stretch on for months or even years. Insurance companies have a legal obligation to maintain reasonable and necessary medical care and wage reimbursement for the income that a worker misses out on because of a workplace injury.
Since benefits are granted on a weekly basis, this can leave the victim with mounting medical debt while modifying their lifestyle around their injuries. One way to avoid the debt is to seek a settlement that could cover the medical bills in full.
For a settlement to end the workers’ compensation claim, the worker and the insurance company must negotiate what the total cost of recovery may be overall. This total includes the cost of all medical care as well as wage payments. Once the two parties sign an agreement on a sum, the insurance company will issue a lump sum check or a structured payment plan for the granted amount.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission must approve the terms to make the settlement legally valid. For approval, the plaintiff must submit:
A Henrico County lawyer can further explain how workers’ compensation settlements distribute payments to the awarded claimant.
A workers’ compensation claim arises any time that an employee suffers an injury or illness as the result of their employment. To collect possible benefits, a worker must notify their employer of their injury and initiate a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Technically, an employee can settle their claim at any time. However, choosing the proper time to seek a settlement can be just as important as deciding to settle. One thought to keep in mind is although Virginia Code §65.2-603 states insurance companies must provide payment for all necessary treatment for the rest of the worker’s life, this obligation ends with a settlement. Once a settlement is reached, the insurance company is no longer responsible for covering the cost of future medical care for the victim.
As a result, most settlements occur after a worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MIM). This allows an employee the time to calculate what their future medical costs may be and determine what they would be willing to settle for. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Henrico County can help determine when the time is right to seek a settlement.
Workers’ compensation benefits continue weekly for as long as a person remains out of work. For many, this slow, steady stream of payments can be a reliable, if not necessarily adequate, source of income. However, for people with profound medical bills and a mortgage, these payments may be frustratingly limiting.
To expedite the payout, you can seek a settlement from the insurance company using the expertise of our workplace injury claim resolution lawyers. A settlement can grant you either one lump sum or an accelerated payment structure that might make you feel more financially secure right now.
Contact a Henrico County attorney for help deciding if a workers’ compensation settlement is right for you.