Understanding Lump Sum Settlements
In Georgia, injured workers who have highly contested claims for compensation may sometimes opt to settle with their employer’s insurance company. This may avoid prolonged litigation and the time and expense that a courtroom dispute can entail.
Lump sum settlements involve an agreement between the employee and the insurance company that sets an overall amount for the individual to receive as compensation. In exchange for these benefits, the worker waives the right to future claims for medical expenses or any other costs that may result from the injury. These agreements, although often beneficial, can be risky as well, and the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation must approve them.
Lump sum settlements can take two forms: bonafide dispute settlements and no-liability settlements. In a bonafide dispute settlement, the employer typically admits liability, and both parties agree to a set amount to compensate the worker for the entity’s fault. By contrast, in a no-liability settlement, the employer does not admit liability but agrees to a settlement in order to end the dispute. In exchange, the employee must agree to dismiss his or her claims against the company. Both types of settlements are binding on both sides and cannot usually be revoked or altered if additional medical complications arise.
Lump sum settlements can be appealing to workers who are involved in lengthy and emotional disputes over their job-related injuries. Settlements help parties avoid the mental and emotional toll that comes from ongoing litigation and give employees access to more immediate compensation for their harm. They also avoid the risk of going to trial, where the ultimate outcome or the amount of benefits may be uncertain.
However, lump sum settlements also require a worker to take a risk that his or her injury will not become worse or require future unanticipated medical treatment. Many job-related accidents may have lasting consequences for your health, or they may give rise to other symptoms or additional injuries down the road. If you are unable to foresee these effects before entering into a settlement, you may face extensive medical bills in the future that your employer will no longer be obligated to assist you with.
Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Case With Our Attorneys
Being unable to work due to a job-related injury
can be an overwhelming experience. You may be stressed about the impact this will have on your family members or concerned about how you will pay your mortgage or rent.
The skilled and experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, have worked with numerous employees in Georgia. We understand the challenges you are facing and can help take the burden of your benefits claim off your shoulders. Our firm has assisted injured workers from Marietta, Lawrenceville, Decatur and other communities throughout Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, and Clayton Counties and beyond.