Our first two blogs post in this series on settlement of your Georgia Workers’ Compensation case discussed what settlement is and some factors that you should consider when deciding what amount to accept in settlement, if you decide to settle your case. This blog post will discuss when it is a good time to consider settlement (and when it is not a good time) because the timing of settlement is important.
Do I Have To Settle?
It is important to remember that settlement is voluntary. You are never required to settle your workers’ compensation case. Even if you eventually decide to settle your case, you do not have to settle it now, next week, or next month.
What Factors Should I Consider To Decide Whether Now Is a Good Time To Settle My Case?
One factor that is important to consider is how accurately you can predict how your injury will affect you in the future. Settlement of a Georgia workers’ compensation case is mostly about how your injury will affect you in the future. Nothing prevents an injured worker from settling his or her case the week after getting hurt at work, but it would not be smart to do so.
At this point, you would not be able to accurately predict what sort of medical treatment you are going to need. You also would not know how long you will be out of work. Because of that, you might end up settling for a lot less than you should.
Wait Until You Have A Good Understanding of Your Injury
A good time to consider settlement of your case is when you have a good understanding of how your injury will affect you in the future. You might know this just a few months after your injury at work. However, in most cases involving serious work injuries, it takes much longer to get a good understanding.
If your work injury is one where the treating doctor recommends surgery, you will almost always want to wait until after you have had the surgery before considering settlement. Before you have the surgery, you just will not have as good an understanding of any permanent effects that the work injury will have on you.
Settlement Is Final
There are many factors to consider in deciding if it is a good time to settle your case. The most important thing to remember is that you only get one shot. You cannot come back after settlement and ask for more money because you are unable to work or have additional medical bills. Because of this, you need to make sure you are fully compensated for how your injury will affect you in the future if and when you settle. If you have questions about whether it might be a good time to settle or any other questions about your case, please call the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form at the right for a free consultation with one of our attorneys who specialize in Georgia Workers’ Compensation cases.
In our next blog post, we will discuss other factors that can affect settlement including long term disability benefits, Social Security Disability benefits, and Medicare.