Is A Lump-Sum Settlement Right For You?
Called compromises and releases (C&Rs) under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, agreeing to a lump-sum settlement for all or part of your claim for a work-related injury is a very common practice between employees and their employers’ insurance carrier. Sometimes, a C&R is a preferable method of resolving disputed issues, or of providing an injured worker with the money needed to move on from the work injuries.
If your injuries are quite serious and debilitating, a C&R, or lump-sum settlement, can provide guaranteed income for life. Still, lump-sum settlements are not always in your best interests. There may be an unseen advantage to waiting for further litigation in the matter. While a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation judge must approve all lump-sum settlements, the judge is not assessing the fairness of the cash settlement. The judge’s task is to ascertain that the worker understands the settlement and the rights to future benefits and claims that will be given up in exchange for the cash settlement.
Consult With A Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are considering a lump-sum settlement instead of weekly or bi-weekly benefits in your workers’ compensation claim, the workers’ compensation attorneys at the firm of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias, can offer you a combined total of 100 years experience in negotiating settlements with the well-paid lawyers that will undoubtedly be representing your employer.
Our compassionate legal team will explain the process to you, discuss your options, and represent you at your hearing before the judge. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias, only represent injured workers, and they will do everything possible to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible. Don’t delay in seeking representation – once the settlement is approved by a workers’ compensation judge, your claim (or the portion you settled) is over, and it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reopen a settled case.
Subrogation May Become An Issue In Workers’ Compensation Settlements
“Subrogation” refers to circumstances in which an insurance company tries to recoup expenses for a claim it paid out when another party should have been responsible for paying at least a portion of that claim. In Workers’ Compensation cases, it is sometimes required that certain insurance benefits paid to the injured worker be paid back from the worker’s lump-sum settlement. For example, if an injured worker is also receiving or is eligible for other types of disability benefits (such as Social Security, Medicare, short- or long-term disability or benefits through a Union’s Health & Welfare Fund), these “other” benefit plans may have rights of their own regarding your workers’ compensation settlement. They may have the right to be paid back, out your settlement, all or some of what they have paid you.
Additionally, in cases where the injured worker may have a “third-party” lawsuit against an individual or company whose negligence caused the work injury, then the workers’ compensation insurance company may have the right to get back some or all of the money they paid to the injured worker out of the money recovered from the third-party lawsuit. The experienced, knowledgeable lawyers at Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias, are focused on maximizing your compensation and have been successful in the past in getting subrogation rights waived.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lump-sum settlements should be carefully considered. Before you rush into a negotiation, schedule a free consultation with the experienced firm of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias.
Let Us Evaluate Your Case
We may suggest an investigation of the impact a lump-sum settlement may have on the coordination of benefits, or how your overall financial picture may be complicated by other considerations that must be reviewed in addition to workers’ compensation matters. Call today via 610-601-5399 or contact us online to discuss your lump-sum settlement options.