In Minnesota, the state law allows for a person to trade their long-term worker’s compensation benefits in for a lump sum cash settlement. This money can be used to cover a number of different expenses such as medical bills and wage loss immediately rather than waiting for a weekly check. However, benefits are guaranteed to cover a number of aspects of a work injury, making taking a settlement a difficult decision to make. What happens if your injury gets worse? Will the settlement amount be able to cover it? For this reason as well as many more questions that a worker can agonize over, you need to make sure you are getting a fair settlement from your worker’s compensation injury.
Amounts to Cover in the Settlement
There are a number of aspects that you will want to take into consideration when accepting or rejecting a settlement offer. These include:
- Permanent, Partial, or Temporary Disability – When considering a settlement for a lump sum of cash, you want to know, above anything else, your disability rating. This will help you know how much money you would be entitled to under worker’s compensation benefits. The longer your injury will leave you disabled, the more money you will be entitled to. If it is only temporary, you will get much less, but is you will be disabled completely or partially for the rest of your life, you will get a much larger amount. This is where worker’s compensation attorneys are of a great benefit as they know the minimum amounts you deserve.
- Medical Treatment – Coverage for treatment of the initial injury is easy, but the real problem is if your injury is going to be the type that doesn’t heal well. No one can know for sure when it comes to the future of your medical treatments. However, most insurance companies will try to estimate the future costs of an injury. It would be in your best interests to also get a future estimate from your doctor. Ask them how many future doctor visits you will need, if there will be psychical therapy, will you need any prescriptions, or if they is a chance of additional surgeries and flare ups. Take all that and ask for a ball park of future expenses so you have something to compare the settlement offer to.
- Wage Loss – Calculating wage loss into a settlement is actually one of the easier parts. If you are going to be out of work for a set amount of time for treatment or rehabilitation, your settlement should cover the wages you would be losing during that time. While it is the easiest number to factor into an acceptable settlement amount, lost wages are likely to be the most hotly disputed number.
While it might be tempting to inflate these numbers, that will only hurt you in the long run. If you try to inflate the numbers and the offer ends up way higher than what the insurance company estimates, they will likely reject a settlement, meanings things will need to go to the courthouse. Sometimes this can work out in your favor, but it is often just easier for everyone to put together a fair settlement and assure that it is accepted by both parties. The insurance companies will have their own estimates, so it is a fruitless endeavor trying to cheat the system.
When putting together your settlement offer, it is important that you have the help of an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer. If you are an injured worker in the Mankato area, contact us today. The Law Offices of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter can not only help you put your fair settlement amount together, but we can help you argue it so that the offer is accepted.
Contact A Mankato Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact the law office of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter today at (507) 625-3000 for a free case review. We are located in Mankato, Minnesota.