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Two Things To Do Before You Settle4 minute read

Settlement of a workers’ compensation case is a big decision.  Once the settlement is signed and approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, it is final.  You cannot go back and change it later.  Because settlement is such an important decision, you should make sure that you are ready when you consider settling your case.

Some attorneys have information on their websites telling you an amount you should be entitled to for a settlement.  Some ask you to send an e-mail to them so they can evaluate your case and give you a “settlement value”.

It is going to be difficult to come to an accurate number about when you should settle your case or what you should settle it for based on the calculations on these websites.  Every workers’ compensation case is different and unique.  There are very few hard and fast rules that apply to every case.

However, there are some “rules” that do apply most of the time. Here are two things that are usually important to do before you settle your case:

Shoulder orthopedic doctor with patientGet the medical treatment you need

You need to get the medical treatment you need to know how you will recover from your injury.  If a surgery is recommended that you believe you will need to have, you probably should have it before settling your case.

If you get your major medical treatment before settling your case, you will then know if that treatment is going to help you or not.  This knowledge will help you better understand how your injury will affect you in the future.  We will discuss that in more detail below.

Understand how you injury will affect you in the future

A workers’ compensation settlement ends the insurance company’s responsibility for paying you benefits.  To make a good decision about settlement, it is important to know how your injury will affect you in the future.  Here are some of the questions that you may have:

  • Are you going to be able to go back to work? If so, will it be at a job that pays you as much as you made before?
  • If you think you will be able to go back to work, how long is it going to take you to find a job?
  • Are you going to need more medical treatment in the future(surgery, injections, medications, etc.)? If so, how much is that medical treatment likely to cost?

There is nothing that prevents you from settling your case the day after you injury.  But, it would not be smart to do that.  As I mentioned earlier, settlement cannot be changed.  This makes it very important to know how your injury will affect you in the future before you settle your case.

Usually, you need to let a little time pass before considering settlement.  Sometimes, the amount of time needed is months.  Other times, it is years.  It really depends on the specific facts of your case.

How should I approach settlement of my workers’ compensation case?

As I mentioned above, there are no hard and fast rules that always apply to settlement of your case.  In fact, even the two rules mentioned above do not apply to settlement of every case.

Sometimes, I have recommended that a client settle a case before surgery for reasons very specific to that client’s case.  Other times, I have recommended that a client consider settlement even though waiting another six months might provide a little more information about that client’s future.  Again, it just depends on the particular facts of the case.

There is at least one rule about settlement that probably always applies:  Make sure you know what you are doing because you do not want to settle your case for less than you should.

You only get one shot at this.  Chances are you knew very little about workers’ compensation before your injury.  Also, you are going to live with the effects of your injury for the rest of your life.  Because of those things, I think it always makes sense to talk to someone who specializes in workers’ compensation.  Their knowledge could be invaluable to you.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
moombimoombi
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.
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