This is the second in our series of blog articles about what to consider when you are thinking about settling your Georgia Workers’ Compensation case. If you have not already, we recommend that you start by reading the first article in this series that will help give you a general understanding of what settlement is.
Can I Change My Mind After I Settle?
The most important to understand about settlement of your worker’ compensation case is that it is final. Once you have settled your case, signed the paperwork, and the settlement has been approved by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, there is probably nothing that you can do to change it. This means that if you need more medical treatment or miss more time from work than expected after settlement of your case, you cannot come back and ask for more money.
What Are Some of the Factors that Affect Settlement?
You can settle your case at any time. However, because settlement is final, you want to have a good understanding of what future benefits you will probably receive from the workers’ compensation insurance company before deciding what you should accept to settle your case. Some of the factors that you want to consider in deciding what to settle for include the following:
- Temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits (commonly known as TTD and TPD) – these are benefits that the insurance company owes you when you are out of work because of your injury or working but earning less money because of your injury.
- Medical benefits – the insurance company is responsible for paying for medical treatment needed as a result of your injury. Some medical costs that are most common in workers’ compensation claim are surgery, physical therapy, pain medication, MRIs, x-rays, and other forms of medical treatment and testing.
- Permanent partial disability benefits – these are benefits that the insurance company pays when the doctor says that you have some permanent impairment as a result of your injury. Georgia law currently requires the doctor to use the American Medical Association’s Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th edition, when determining the percentage of permanent impairment.
- Whether the insurance company owes you any past due benefits
- How long you will draw workers’ compensation benefits in the future
These are just a few of the factors that are important to consider when you are considering settlement. Every workers’ compensation case is unique. The evaluation of a case for settlement is a very complex process. It requires a good understanding of what is likely to happen under Georgia law in the future if you do not settle your case.
Do I Need An Attorney To Settle My Workers’ Compensation Case?
You are not required to have an attorney to settle your case, but it is very difficult to make the right decision about settlement without consulting an attorney. Because of this, I would at least recommend that you talk to an attorney who specializes in Georgia workers’ compensation cases before making any decisions about settlement. Our firm is happy to provide a free consultation with one of our three attorneys who specialize in workers’ compensation cases. To get a free consultation, simply call the phone number listed at the upper right of this page or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.
Our next blog post in this series will cover when it might be a good time to settle your workers’ compensation case.