Under certain circumstances, an employer and his insurance company may offer the injured employee a one time, lump-sum payment.
This is most often seen with a catastrophic injury where the plaintiff has been left with a total permanent disability. More often than not, the initial offer is substantially less than what would be paid out on a monthly basis. While the thought of receiving a big pay-out may seem appealing, you should note that it is best to first talk over the details with an experienced attorney before accepting it.
Many insurance companies attempt to settle workers compensation claims with a lump-sum because they know that, unlike other personal injury cases, they are not bound to make reasonable offers. They use that to their advantage by attempting to entice financially strapped employees with what seems to be a large amount of cash. An attorney will be able to review your case to determine its actual worth and help you decide which course of action will best for your needs.
Things to Consider
There are a few reasons why you may want to seriously consider a lump-sum payment. For one, workers compensation payouts are not subject to cost of living increases. Your weekly check will remain the same year after year, even as inflation rises. For some, they may decide to take the money upfront and invest it wisely in order to ensure that they will be financially secure in the future instead of allowing it to lose its value over time. The second thing to consider is your age. Weekly workers comp payments typically end when the injured employee dies. If you opt for the lump-sum, then those proceeds will remain part of your estate. Something to consider if you have many dependents.
As part of a lump-sum agreement, the insurance company may require that your acceptance of their offer bars you from making any further claim against them, even if your condition worsens. If your injuries are grave enough to warrant it, a savvy workers compensation attorney will do his best to get you the desired big pay out, plus a guarantee for future medical care. They may also be able to negotiate a split payment, like the one awarded to a Missouri garbage collector who lost both of his legs as a result of a work injury. The severity of his injury compelled the employer to offer a $300,000 settlement. That amount was negotiated to be an initial $150,000, with the rest to be paid out over a period of 10 years. On top of that, they will shoulder the cost of all future medical care.
St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyer
Just like other claims for personal injury, workers compensation is often about dealing with insurance companies who are trying to avoid large awards. The important thing to remember is that you need to be considering your future, and what is best for you and your family. Not only can a Missouri workers compensation attorney advise you on what type of compensation is best for your situation, they can help you get it.
If you have been injured on the job in Missouri or Illinois, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Our law firm has over 20 years of experience handling workers compensation and personal injury claims. Call (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation today.
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