Should I Settle My Workers’ Comp Case?
May 1, 2019
If you are offered a settlement in your workers’ compensation case, you may be wondering whether you should accept. There are numerous pros and cons to settling a workers’ compensation case, therefore the answer largely depends on your unique circumstances. The knowledgeable Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. can help you make this important decision regarding your case.
Settling Your Workers’ Compensation Case in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania employees are generally entitled to compensation for any work injuries they sustain, including payment for medical expenses and lost wages. Workers who are disabled due to their workplace injuries may be eligible for disability payments. The payments vary in duration and amount depending on the severity of the worker’s injury and typically continue for a set number of weeks. However, workers may have the option of settling their case for a one-time, lump-sum payment.
The insurance company may offer you a lump sum amount in exchange for your right to pursue future workers’ compensation benefits. If you choose to accept such an agreement, you may be giving up your right to payments for future medical expenses. Therefore, it is important to remember that if you agree to the settlement, you typically give up your right to reopen your case and pursue additional benefits if your injury turns out to be more serious than it was originally estimated.
Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Settle Your Workers’ Comp Case
You are not obligated to accept a proposed settlement, or a “compromise and release agreement”, as it is referred to in Pennsylvania. If you decide that the agreement is not in your best interest or you dispute the amount, you may either negotiate with the insurance company or request a court hearing on the matter.
In Pennsylvania, a workers’ compensation judge must approve the settlement for it to be considered full and final. Some things to take into consideration when deciding whether to settle include:
- Future medical expenses – If you settle your workers’ compensation claim while you are still healing, it can be difficult to determine whether you will require future medical treatment. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you decide whether it is in your best interests to give up your right to lifetime benefits.
- Lengthy trial – In Pennsylvania, workers may settle their claims no earlier than four months from the date of their injury. If you agree to settle, you may save yourself the time it takes to get a hearing and go to trial.
- Lump sum or structured agreement – Most settlements are lump sum; however, you may be able to negotiate a structured settlement so that you receive payments over time if you require long-term care. It is also important to consider whether you will be able to save some of the payment for potential future medical expenses and not spend it all at once.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help You Determine if a Settlement is Right for You
If you are presented with a settlement in your workers’ compensation case, it is important to consider all your options. A Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. can help you evaluate the settlement and determine whether it is right for you. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.