Boston and Hyde Park Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Similar to personal injury claims such as motor vehicle accidents and slip and fall accidents, workers’ compensation claims often result in settlements. There are, however, several differences between personal injury settlements and workers’ compensation settlements (referred to as lump sum settlements).
First, because you are not entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering under the workers’ compensation statute- as you are in personal injury cases- the lump sum settlement amount will not reflect how your life has changed and been negatively affected by your accident. An injured worker may be entitled to compensation for permanent loss of function and scarring, and payment for that can be included as part of a lump sum settlement.
A settlement of a workers’ compensation case basically represents the potential past, present and/or future weekly disability payments that you might receive if you were to litigate your right to those benefits before a judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents. In exchange for receiving a lump sum of money and entering into such a settlement you will no longer have the right to any disability payments in the future. In most cases, however, even after a lump sum settlement the insurance company continues to be responsible for the employee’s necessary medical treatment, (so long as it remains related to the work injury) and the employee retains the right to vocational benefits (so long as that is done within two years of the settlement).
Have an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney by Your Side
During the more than thirty years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims, Attorney Richard C. Hyman has negotiated millions of dollars-worth of settlements for his clients. If you have been injured at work, contact the Law Office of Richard C. Hyman today at 617-361-531.
Approval of a Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement
Another difference between most personal injury settlements and settlements of workers’ compensation claims is that the workers’ compensation settlement agreement must be approved, by either a conciliator or administrative judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents. Also, whereas personal injury cases generally only require an agreement between the injured party and the insurance company, a workers’ compensation settlement requires the agreement of the employer in addition to the injured worker and the insurance company.
If the injured employee who is settling a workers’ compensation case is also collecting monthly Social Security Disability payments, an additional benefit of the lump sum settlement is that it will usually eliminate or drastically reduce any offset of the Social Security benefits. This means that the amount of the Social Security payment will go up after the workers’ compensation case is settled.
If you are collecting workers’ compensation benefits, or have a claim pending for such benefits, you should have your attorney explain to you in detail when is the best time to think about settling your case, what would be a reasonable amount for that settlement and whether any such settlement would effect payment of future medical expenses or vocational benefits and the amount of your Social Security Disability payments.
For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, please contact the Law Office of Richard C. Hyman today at 617-361-5310.