How Is Workers’ Comp Settlement Determined?
A Settlement Amount Depends On The Injuries
Workers’ compensation benefits are often paid without you giving up any rights through a settlement. However, you might consider settling a case for many reasons. Frequently, it is the best way to maximize the cash benefits you receive. Also, it can allow you to get out of the workers’ compensation system and move on with your life.
Deciding to ask for and receive a settlement should be carefully considered, because it can have an effect on your future rights. It is a good idea to discuss a settlement with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who will protect your rights. When you have questions, you are welcome to call the Eley Law Firm in Denver and talk with attorney Cliff Eley.
What Is A Permanent Impairment Worth?
Impairment ratings, the need for future medical benefits, and other factors determine the amount of a settlement. Because no amount of money can change the impairment, it is difficult to determine precisely what the impairment is worth. Your treating doctor will determine if you have a physical impairment (or refer you to another doctor). The doctor will assign a rating based on the AMA Guides.
Certain impairments are assigned specific values — for example, the loss of function in extremities such as toes, feet, legs, fingers, arms, hands, eyes (vision) and ears (deafness). Injuries to the head, neck, back or torso receive a whole person impairment rating. Permanent total disability refers to a worker’s inability to return to any type of work. Scars and other disfigurements also entitle the injured worker to benefits. This is also taken into account in determining the amount of a settlement.
Whatever your injury or impairment, talk to an attorney so that you fully understand your current and future rights if you decide on the settlement.
Pros Of Negotiating A Settlement
There are many benefits to negotiating a workers’ compensation settlement, but you should speak with your attorney to determine if doing so is in your best interests. Some advantages to negotiating a settlement are that you avoid going to a workers’ compensation hearing. During this hearing, you run the risk of being awarded less than what the insurance company is offering. In addition, you will not endure the stress of trial or have to wait lengthy periods of time before your case reaches a final resolution.
Lastly, you have the ability to structure a one-time, lump-sum payment or a structured settlement that is paid out over time. This might be to your advantage rather than receiving weekly payments as is typical in Colorado’s workers’ compensation system.