Here are five common reasons people accept initial workers’ compensation settlement offers and what you should do before deciding to settle.
Generally, after a workplace injury, injured workers have two options for compensation: they can either receive weekly benefits through the workers’ compensation process or they can accept a lump-sum settlement from the insurance company.
In many cases, injured workers prefer to settle their claims quickly and receive a lump-sum payment rather than go through the workers’ compensation process. Here are five common reasons people accept initial workers’ compensation settlement offers.
They Want to Avoid the Hassle of the Workers’ Compensation Process
Given that you’re already dealing with the stress of a workplace injury, the last thing you may want is to have to navigate a complex legal process. An initial settlement offer offers a much simpler way to receive compensation. Which explains why nearly 90% of workers’ compensation claims are settled out of court.
They Need the Money Right Away
For many injured workers, the biggest appeal of settlements is that they offer a way to get money quickly. The workers’ compensation process can take months or even years to play out, and during that time, injured workers may struggle to make ends meet. A lump-sum settlement offers a way to get the money you need immediately, which can be a huge relief for those facing financial hardship.
They’re Worried About Getting Less Money Down the Line
There’s no guarantee that you’ll receive the full benefits you’re entitled to through the workers’ compensation process. Many injured workers know this and decide to accept a settlement offer instead, even if it’s less than they’re entitled to, because they don’t want to risk getting nothing at all.
They Don’t Want to Deal With the Paperwork
The workers’ compensation process requires a lot of paperwork. From medical reports to wage statements, there’s a lot of documentation that needs to be completed to file a claim. Add this to the fact that these workers are already dealing with the physical and emotional stress of a workplace injury, and it’s no wonder many people decide to settle their claims instead.
They Want to Put the Whole Ordeal Behind Them
For many people, the workers’ compensation process is a reminder of a traumatic event that they’d rather not think about. By settling their claim and receiving a lump-sum payment, they feel they are putting the whole ordeal behind them and moving on with their lives.
Is Accepting an Initial Settlement Offer the Best Option?
While the above reasons may hold a lot of appeal, it’s important to remember that initial settlement offers are often not in your best interest. For one, you may get less money than you would if you went through the workers’ compensation process. Secondly, by accepting a settlement, you are generally giving up your right to additional compensation.
When Should You Settle?
Each case is unique. The best thing to do is to speak with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected. An experienced attorney understands what you are entitled to and can guide you in making the best decision for your case.
Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney
If you have been injured on the job in Missouri, an experienced St. Louis workers compensation attorney at The Law Office of James M. Hoffman can help. We offer a free consultation to injured workers, during which we’ll review your case and advise you of your best options. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today.
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