Most workers’ compensation cases settle. For the insurance company, this means they can close a file. For an injured worker, it means that they generally receive some sort of lump sum payment. The difficult question is how much you should accept to settle a workers’ compensation case.
This question is extremely difficult. Before trying to answer it, you first need to do at least a couple of things.
- You should determine if it is the right time to settle your case
- You should understand how the settlement process will work
If you have done those things, you can probably try to make a determination of how much you should settle your case for.
What is the special formula for determining how much the insurance company has to pay me?
Should you settle for $10,000? $25,000? $50,000? Unfortunately, there is not a special formula to provide an exact value for your Georgia workers’ compensation case.
Each workers’ compensation case is different.You cannot force the insurance company to pay you a certain amount of money because you needed back surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery does not have a certain value.
If there is not a special formula, how can I figure out what my case is worth?
I determine value based on considering the other options that my clients have. Remember you do not have to settle your case. The primary other option you have is to not settle your case.
So, I evaluate what will likely happen if the case does not settle. There are a number of questions that need to be answer. Here are a few:
- What benefits will they get?
- What medical treatment will they get?
- Is settlement going to be a good choice for them?
- Is it better to keep the case open?
To evaluate a case correctly, you need to understand all the rules about Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. You must know the rules to make a good prediction about what will happen to you if you keep your case open.
Unfortunately, Georgia has a number of strange rules about workers’ compensation. Some are more than strange. They are just plain unfair in my opinion.
For example, employees who lose a finger in a work injury would receive a prosthetic finger. These prosthetics have to be replaced every so often. Unfortunately, Georgia’s current laws seem to indicate that the insurance company would only be responsible for replacing prosthetics (and other forms of medical treatment) for 400 weeks from the date of injury.
Unfortunately, you are going to have to deal with these unfair rules. You don’t have a choice. So, you need to understand them. Otherwise, you will not make a good decision about settlement.
What else should I think about when making a decision about settlement?
You also need to take your time. Decisions about settlement are probably the most difficult decisions people have to make in their workers’ compensation cases. These decisions are final. You usually cannot go back and change them.
Because it is important to know the rules before making a decision about settlement, my suggestion is to talk to an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation. Find out what your options are so you can make the best decision for you.
If you would like to talk to me about settlement or any other issue regarding your workers’ compensation case, I would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. To find out how that would work, just read this article that explains what a free consultation is and what you would get from it. Then, just let me know if you would like to set one up.
Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. He regularly blogs about Georgia’s workers’ compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.
You can subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation channel on YouTube.