If you were injured at work and have filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits through your employer, you may receive an offer to resolve your matter through settlement. The terms may be attractive, and it could be tempting to work out an arrangement through a lump sum payment rather than rely on your weekly benefits. However, you need to fully understand the pros and cons of handling a workers’ comp claim through settlement, which means you should get a view of the bigger picture. Talk to a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney about your specific situation, but some quick facts may help.
When you suffer from a work-related medical condition, you do not seek compensation directly from your employer. You file a claim with your employer’s workers’ comp insurer, which pays out benefits to covered employees. The typical arrangement is paying these amounts on a weekly basis, including costs for medical treatment and lost wages. By settling your claim, the insurance company would pay you a lump sum to cover all amounts.
If you are eligible for wage replacement, i.e., lost wages, you will no longer receive these payments. The amount of your lost income is built into the settlement amount, and you release any right to other past, present, and future wages.
In some settlement situations, you may still qualify to receive benefits for all medical treatment related to your workplace illness or injury. If eligible, your workers’ comp benefits for medical care may continue beyond a settlement, including:
However, the insurance company may include these medical benefits in a lump sum amount. If that is the case, you will not get any additional funds for medical treatment.
Even if you reach an agreement to settle your workers’ comp claim, you will still need the OK from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission The VWCC is tasked with protecting your rights as an injured employee, so agents will need to review the arrangement.
There are countless factors involved in determining what amount would be fair and reasonable to settle your case. The nature and severity of your medical condition are important. Plus, you need to consider benefits for permanent/temporary and partial/total disability.
If you are a surviving family member of a worker who died as a result of a workplace accident, you may also qualify to settle a workers’ comp claim. Your payout amount will depend upon your relationship with the deceased individual.
If you were hurt at work and want additional information about settling a workers’ comp claim in Virginia, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to set up a no-cost case evaluation with a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney.