Boise Workers’ Comp Lawyer Q&A: Are Settlements Worthwhile?
Did you file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurer? Many Idaho insurance companies would rather avoid monitoring employee recovery and paying weekly benefits. They prefer to settle for a lump sum. If you receive a settlement offer, you should discuss it with a Boise workers’ compensation lawyer. Settlements offer usually seem very attractive. Who doesn’t like to idea of receiving a large sum of money upfront? However, they are not always a smart move. Before you decide whether to accept or not, you need to understand all the implications.
The Deal with Settlement Offers and the Need to Work with a Boise Workers’ Comp Attorney
A workers’ compensation settlement is a final agreement between you and the insurer. When you accept it, you give up any other rights. Therefore, before signing it, you have to make sure it is in your best interest. A workers’ comp attorney can help with that.
They will review your claim to see how much it is worth. They will compare their conclusions with the insurer’s offer. If they find the settlement worth considering, they will try to negotiate better terms. If not, they will offer you their opinion and let you make the final decision.
Your decision should take into account several important aspects. We will review the most important of them in the following lines.
Aspects Boise Workers’ Comp Attorneys Recommend Considering Regarding Settlements
- All insurers settle to save money. Your claim is surely worth more but this does not mean the settlement is not worth it. It only means that you have to do your math before accepting it.
- It is your health and well being at stake. If your injury or illness is serious, recovery may be lengthy and expensive. You should not settle until you know exactly what to expect. Otherwise, you could be denying yourself access to expenses treatments.
- There could be other opportunities. You could get an upfront payment and still have the insurer pay your medical bills. Other payment arrangements are possible as well. It all depends on how convincing your workers’ comp attorney is.
- The settlement needs further approvals. Idaho workers’ compensation settlements require the approval of the Industrial Commission. In order to obtain it, you will have to fill in paperwork and convince a panel of three commissioners.
- Refusing a settlement offer does not mean staying on weekly benefits until full recovery. The insurer may accept your decision and make a better offer or propose further negotiations. They may also dispute it and request a hearing with the Industrial Commission. A judge will make the final decision in your case.
Perhaps the insurer will not make a better offer but will not dispute your decision either. In that case, you will continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits until you recover. If your condition worsens, you have five years to claim additional disability benefits. The deadline starts running on your injury date.
Of course, you are the only one who can make decisions regarding your future. The role of the workers’ compensation attorney is to help you make the best decision. They will provide you with the information you need and help you weigh your options.
In the end, it is up to you if you request legal help or negotiate the settlement yourself. No matter what you decide, we have the following recommendations:
Settlement Tips from an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Boise, ID
- Always wait until your health condition stabilizes and you know exactly what to expect. Once you have accepted a settlement, there is no going back. In some cases, it is possible to receive disability and other benefits even after the 400 weeks period.
- Make sure the amount is fair. Besides medical bills, workers’ compensation benefits include travel expenses and vocational rehabilitation. They also compensate some of the wages the employee can no longer earn due to their injury.
- Be careful about how you spend the money. Some people have trouble budgeting. You do not want to spend everything and end up unable to pay for your recovery. If you cannot manage your finances responsibly, settling is not a good idea.
Have a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Boise, ID, Review Your Settlement Offer for Free!
At Joe Frick Law, we provide free preliminary consultations. You have the chance to discuss your settlement offer with a Boise workers’ comp lawyer without paying. Why risk accepting a detrimental settlement when you can make an informed decision? Schedule the consultation now, online or by calling our law firm office at 208-314-3188!