When workers are injured on the job, their employers may be held liable for their injuries. Because of this, many companies carry workers’ compensation insurance plans. When a worker is injured, the insurance plan helps pay for that worker’s expenses. A fair workers’ compensation settlement pays an injured worker the amount of their medical expenses and other costs.
There is a long history of workers’ compensation programs in industrialized countries since the chances of workers being injured on the job increases with industrialization. Although previous versions of workers’ compensation laws provide a little protection for workers, that is largely changed, and workers can expect to receive compensation if they are injured while working.
Insurance companies offer settlement agreements, which are contracts that agree to pay compensation in exchange for avoiding a lawsuit. The insurance company may offer an amount of compensation that will not cover your expenses. Insurance companies try to minimize the amount of compensation that they pay to workers so that they can lose as little money as possible. This is why it is in your best interest to have a lawyer review your settlement before you accept it.
History of Workers’ Compensation
According to The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal, workers’ compensation has a long history in industrialized countries. The U.S. adopted similar laws and practices from British common law as the need for protection for industrial workers became more important. In essence, workers’ compensation laws have become stricter and provided more coverage for workers over time.
In previous iterations of workers’ compensation laws, there was little protection for workers. Dangerous machinery and working conditions contributed to injuries on the job, but many companies were not held liable for workers’ injuries. This is largely changed under the focus of determining liability. Companies are increasingly held responsible for workplace injuries, and workers see better coverage for their expenses.
Types of Settlement Agreements
When workers’ compensation claims are filed, they result in settlement agreements most of the time. The settlement agreement is a contract that says you will accept a specific amount of compensation in exchange for not starting or ending existing legal action. There are two types of settlement agreements that you will encounter.
The first type of settlement is called a lump-sum settlement. In this type of settlement, you receive a single large payment from the insurance company. Lump-sum settlements are a good decision when you may no longer be with that company going forward, or the payout is made to surviving family members. Once the one payment is collected, the case is resolved and you can move on.
The other type of settlement is called a structured settlement. Instead of getting the single large payment, the payment is broken up into smaller installments that are paid over a set amount of time. For example, you could receive a payment every month or once every year for several years. This may be a better choice if you want to ensure that nothing will happen to the money and you can use it to pay off monthly expenses.
Understanding Your Rights
If you are injured on the job, then your employer may be liable for your related expenses. You may be able to take legal action based on who is at fault for your injuries. In your lawsuit, you can claim compensation for a wide range of expenses. These include medical expenses and other related expenses. Your lawyer can provide evidence that each expense is related to your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Settlement Process
The process for handling workers’ compensation settlements is relatively straightforward. You negotiate with the insurance company to find a compromise in the settlement agreement that both parties can agree to. This means balancing your need for compensation with the company’s desire to pay as little as possible. Once you agree on terms, you can accept the settlement agreement.
In some places, this may not be the end of the process. For example, the Utah Labor Commission has to review and approve any Workers’ Compensation settlement agreements before they can be finalized. This process is designed to protect you from intimidation and other tactics that insurance companies use to try to force victims to accept lower value settlement agreements.
Contact Us for a Consultation
To ensure that you receive a fair workers’ compensation settlement, hire a lawyer to represent you and fight for your interests. Companies and insurance providers will try to minimize how much compensation you receive. Take legal action to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 603-4224 to discuss your case with our team.