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Will Workers’ Comp Offer Me a Settlement?

You will sometimes be offered a workers’ comp settlement after suffering a workplace injury. This could be in the form of a lump-sum or structured settlement. However, you should not necessarily accept the settlement. If you do, you may forfeit the right to sue your employer should you need to.

An insurer may also deny your workers’ compensation claim outright. A workers’ compensation lawyer can appeal this denial, and the insurer may offer you a settlement after negotiations.

When you hire a workers’ compensation lawyer, they can help navigate the claims process and determine if a workers’ comp settlement offer would fairly cover the losses from your workplace injury. Call Colling Gilbert Wright today at (407) 712-7300 to schedule a FREE case evaluation. We represent our neighbors in Orlando and throughout Florida with pride.

When Will Workers’ Comp Offer Me a Settlement?

A settlement in a workers’ compensation case can be proposed at various stages. Often, such offers are made when a patient reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is the point where the full extent of the injury is understood, including future medical needs and costs and the potential for ongoing benefits. This understanding helps both you and the insurer gauge a more accurate settlement value.

On the other hand, settlement offers might also be presented early in the process. For insurers, a single lump-sum payment can be more straightforward than managing ongoing medical expenses and periodic benefits. This is especially true if your medical prognosis indicates a lengthy or complex recovery, prompting the insurer to opt for an early settlement. Such an approach simplifies their process and mitigates their risk of additional costs due to unforeseen complications or prolonged treatment in your recovery journey.

An insurer may also offer a settlement when you appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The appeals process takes time, though. It could be months before you receive a settlement offer.

Factors That Determine Your Workers’ Comp Settlement Amount

Various factors affect your potential workers’ compensation settlement amount. If your claim was denied and you file a Petition for Benefits with the Florida Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (FLOJCC), a judge will consider the following factors:

  • The severity of your workplace accident injury
  • If your injury will result in permanent impairment
  • The effect your injury/permanent impairment will have on your ability to work
  • Your current medical bills associated with your injury
  • Any pre-existing injuries or conditions you have
  • The difference between your pre-injury income and how much you can now earn

The DWC provides a benefits calculator, but the final say rests with the judge overseeing your appeal. A workers’ compensation attorney can advocate for a fair settlement by accounting for both your current and future losses due to your injury. This is particularly important if you face a disability or permanent impairment that limits the amount or type of work you can do.

A workers’ comp lawyer can consult with your physician to understand the long-term effects of your injury. They can use your prognosis as evidence to substantiate your claim for future losses.

What Happens During Settlement Negotiations in Florida?

While a workers’ compensation settlement offer can come at any time during your claim, it’s best not to accept anything until you better understand the full extent of your injury-related losses. If you are appealing a denied claim, you may receive an offer during mediation. Either way, a workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through negotiations with your best interests in mind.

Why Do Lawyers Often Try To Negotiate a Settlement?

Lawyers often try to negotiate a settlement to ensure that their clients receive fair compensation. Insurers may undervalue a workers’ compensation claim for various reasons. They may underestimate the extent of your injuries or try to offer a settlement before understanding what your recovery will entail.

Lawyers are there to level the playing field and ensure you are not leaving any money on the table. The last thing you want to do is accept a workers’ comp settlement only to foot the bill for future losses.

What Happens When You Agree to a Settlement?

Typically, when you agree to a workers’ compensation benefit, you will no longer qualify for weekly benefit payments. You will usually be barred from seeking additional compensation from the insurer later.

When you sign a settlement agreement, you relinquish your rights to sue your employer directly. As you can see, making sure your workers’ comp settlement offer fairly accounts for the losses you suffered is essential. Otherwise, you may not have any legal recourse to seek compensation down the road.

Do All Workers’ Compensation Cases End in a Settlement?

Not all workers’ compensation cases end in a settlement, but most do. In some cases, it makes more sense to keep collecting weekly benefits, especially if it is taking longer to determine when you will reach your MMI. In addition, claims that have been denied or cases in which a settlement cannot be negotiated may need to go before a judge.

How Long To Settle Workers’ Comp Case?

It can be difficult to estimate how long it takes for a workers’ compensation claim to settle. Every case is unique, and yours has the potential to settle at various stages of the legal process. Generally, workers’ compensation claims are settled within months, but more complex cases can take up to a year or more to settle.

Do I Need To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

Having a workers’ compensation attorney on your side can take a great weight off your shoulders. The last thing you want to deal with when recovering from an injury is legal paperwork and insurance companies. A workers’ compensation lawyer from Colling Gilbert Wright can help handle your case while you focus on your recovery.

Our personal injury law firm is dedicated to standing by our clients every step of the way. We take the time to listen to your story and tailor a legal strategy to suit your unique situation. This way, we can provide compassionate and responsive legal care.

Contact Colling Gilbert Wright Today!

If you are considering a workers’ comp settlement offer, you deserve support from a lawyer who will advocate for your best interests. At Colling Gilbert Wright, that’s what we do. Whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim for the first time or need to appeal a denial of benefits, we can guide you through the process from start to finish.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation to explore your legal options. When it comes to helping injured workers, we do more than just the right thing—we work to do the exceptional thing consistently.

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