It’s vitally important to consult an experienced and knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney before agreeing to a lump sum settlement of a workers’ compensation claim. For 110 years, Powell Law has litigated Pennsylvania workers compensation actions and obtained benefits for injured Pennsylvania workers.
Pennsylvania worker’s compensation law allows workers currently receiving workers’ compensation who have been off work for more than 4 months due to a work-related injury, the option to settle a claim with an insurer for a lump sum. Why settle?
Employers and employees settle cases because they do not want to risk that a Judge will rule against them. An injured worker may decide to receive four years’ worth of benefits in a lump sum in lieu of risking that the Judge will suspend or terminate benefits completely. Similarly, an employer and its insurance carrier may prefer to pay four years of benefits rather than litigate and have the Judge award benefits to a claimant for a longer period of time. It’s simply about a “sure thing” and avoiding the risks associated with an uncertain result from litigation.
A lump sum settlement consists of a one-time payment,which replaces weekly workers’ compensation checks, medical bills, or both. A lump sum settlement may be accepted for both lost wages and medical expenses, but any payment for future medical care means that no more money will be available for medical treatment after these funds are exhausted. Keep in mind that a lump sum settlement amount may not exceed a claimant’s weekly workers’ compensation benefits multiplied by 500 weeks.
Claimants considering a lump-sum payment must be fully aware that once a lump-sum is received, no more benefits will be forthcoming. In order to ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement offer, it is essential to hire an experienced attorney to help negotiate with the insurance carrier, especially because the insurance company will almost always “lowball” its offer, while utilizing the skills of an attorney experienced in negotiating such settlements.
If a workers’ compensation recipient is capable of returning to work in some capacity, the settlement value of a claim diminishes. The fewer the work restrictions, the less value a future wage loss is likely to be assigned. In contrast, the higher the cost of projected future treatment, the more value assigned to this treatment.
For 110 years, Powell Law has represented Pennsylvania workers in workers’ compensation cases in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. Consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE!