Workers’ Compensation: Should You Settle?
In Florida, workers’ compensation is the sole remedy for employees hurt on the job. If you are injured, you are provided care through the insurance provider for your employer. Your benefits may be granted or denied. Many employees appeal or settle their cases. Is financial settlement right for you?
What does it means to settle?
Settling your worker’s compensation case means you accept a sum of money either as a one-time payment, or through a structured payment plan to terminate your injury claim with the insurance carrier for your employer. It is important to understand that settling is purely voluntary. You are not required, nor should you feel pressured, to settle your case if an insurance company is encouraging you to do so.
While you are legally entitled to settle your injury matter by yourself, it is important to seek experienced legal advice before doing so. In Florida, workers’ compensation attorneys are generally paid a structured percentage of the benefits they achieve on your behalf.
This means you are usually not paying out of pocket for legal fees. It also means you need the right attorney, since fees are capped. Some attorneys unwisely encourage settlement when litigation is needed, because their compensation may be limited compared to time spent pursuing justice on your behalf.
An experienced, reputable attorney helps you understand what to expect, the benefits available to you and why, or why not, settling your case is a reasonable option.
How much can you settle for?
Insurance settlement offers are based on the potential financial exposure of the company for future treatment of your injury. Because Florida workers’ compensation law is weighted toward employers, it is important you listen to your attorney explain the rights for future treatment and compensation you lose if you settle your case.
If presented with a settlement offer, long-term thought must be given to the advisability of accepting cash now to give up treatment later. If you have questions, talk to us at Louis P. Pfeffer, PA.