If you were injured at work or developed a work-related medical condition, you will be forced to learn a great deal about the Ohio Workers’ Compensation System. Your first lesson is how to move forward with a claim. Your second is in regard to the benefits you may be entitled to such as medical benefits, wage loss, disability, and rehabilitation benefits. At this point, your third lesson may be about workers’ comp settlements and whether this is the right answer for your situation.
To learn about your rights as an injured worker and whether a workers’ comp settlement is the right decision for you, contact our Ohio workers’ comp lawyers of Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., L.P.A. at (419) 625-7770 as soon as possible.
What is a Workers’ Comp Settlement?
A workers’ comp settlement is an agreement between you and your employer wherein you accept a lump sum to partially or entirely resolve your workers’ compensation claim. If the financial settlement settles part of your workers’ comp claim, you can continue to pursue benefits for the other elements of your claim. However, it the settlement is intended to resolve your entire claim, then once you agree in writing, you will no longer be able to ask for any other compensation for your injuries or condition.
Arriving at a Workers’ Comp Settlement
In some cases, your employer, its representative, or the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) may approach you about a settlement. However, you and your attorney can also approach your employer about one. No matter who brings up this possibility, both sides have the power to negotiate the settlement, including the sum of money and which parts of your claim will be resolved.
No matter who raises the question of a lump sum settlement, it is entirely voluntary. You do not have to agree to accept a settlement to resolve all or some of your claim. However, if you and your attorney believe it is in your best interest, you may want to accept a settlement and receive your monetary benefits upfront.
When is a Workers’ Comp Settlement a Good Idea?
If you are in need of money right away or want to be in control of your medical care to a greater degree than the workers’ compensation system allows, then a settlement may be right for you. Under Ohio law, during a workers’ comp claim, you have to see a physician approved by your employer or their insurer. The insurer has the final say in what treatments are covered. By choosing to accept a settlement, you may have greater freedom in going to the doctors you want to see and receiving additional or less traditional treatments.
Another benefit of a settlement is that you do not have to keep fighting with your employer, their insurer, or the BWC. You do not have to keep going back and forth about your medical treatments, wage benefits, or other benefits. Once you receive your settlement, you have the financial help you need, and you and can choose how to spend or save it throughout your recovery.
When Should I Refuse a Workers’ Comp Settlement?
There are a number of potential disadvantages to accepting a settlement and resolving your claim early on in the process. If you were severely hurt and will need more medical care in the future or are unsure of the medical care and rehabilitation services you might need, then negotiating a fair settlement may be impossible. Your needs may be too unpredictable to come to an appropriate sum. You may be better off fighting for the long-term benefits you deserve under the law.
Contact Our Ohio Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
Whether or not a workers’ comp settlement is right for you depends on a number of factors, including:
- The extent of your injuries
- The predictability of your future medical needs
- The predictability of your future medical expenses
- The ability to anticipate your lost earnings reduced income
You should always speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney before you accept a settlement. If you agree to an offer without independent and objective legal advice, you may end up receiving a sum of money far below the value of your injury or condition.
For help with your workers’ compensation claim, contact our Ohio workers’ comp lawyers at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., L.P.A. at (419) 625-7770.