If you’ve been injured at work, making informed decisions about your workers’ compensation claim is essential.
Navigating the complexities of workers’ compensation claims in Missouri can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding settlements. This article will provide a general overview of what you need to know about settlements in Missouri workers’ compensation cases, keeping in mind that every situation is unique.
What is a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between an injured worker and their employer’s insurance company. This agreement typically involves workers receiving compensation for their injuries in exchange for relinquishing the right to pursue legal action regarding their claim further. Settlements can cover various aspects, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for permanent disabilities.
Types of Settlements in Missouri
In Missouri, there are primarily two types of workers’ compensation settlements:
1. Lump-Sum Settlements
This is a one-time payment made to the injured worker. It is often preferred by those who wish to close their case quickly and receive their funds in a single payment. However, it’s crucial to consider how this sum will cover future medical expenses and income losses.
2. Structured Settlements
Structured settlements provide payments over a period of time. This option can be beneficial for ongoing medical expenses and consistent income support. Considering the long-term financial implications when choosing this type of settlement is important.
Factors Influencing Settlement Amounts
Several factors can influence the settlement amount in a workers’ compensation case:
- Severity of the Injury: More severe injuries generally result in higher settlements due to increased medical costs and potential long-term impacts on earning capacity.
- Medical Expenses: The cost of medical treatment already incurred and estimated future medical expenses are crucial in determining the settlement amount.
- Wage Losses: Compensation for lost wages due to the inability to work plays a significant role in the settlement.
The Settlement Process
Navigating a workers’ compensation settlement involves several steps:
- Medical Evaluation: Understanding the full extent of your injuries is essential.
- Calculation of Benefits: This includes current and future medical expenses, wage losses, and other compensable factors.
- Negotiation: This is where the insurance company and the injured worker, often through their respective legal representatives, negotiate the settlement terms.
- Approval by the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation: All settlements must be approved to ensure they are fair and in the injured worker’s best interest.
Why Legal Guidance is Important
While it’s possible to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement on your own, having knowledgeable legal guidance can be invaluable. A lawyer well-versed in Missouri workers’ compensation law can help you understand your rights, the value of your claim, and negotiate effectively on your behalf.
Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
If you’ve been injured at work, making informed decisions about your workers’ compensation claim is important. The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can provide you with a free case evaluation to help you understand your options and the best path forward. With over 30 years of experience assisting Missouri workers, we are committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation if you’ve been injured at work. Let us help you navigate the complexities of your workers’ compensation settlement.
Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney
Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case EvaluationCall (314) 361-4300