By Elaine Watson,
Personal assistant to Attorney Howard Spiva
Georgia Workers’ Compensation – COMMON MISTAKE 8
SETTLING YOUR CLAIM WITHOUT A JOB
If you have been released by the treating physician at maximum medical improvement and you have been assigned a permanent partial disability rating then the insurance company or the employer is going to be ready to settle. But what happens if you can no longer perform your previous position and the employer does not have another job for you within your restrictions?
You shouldn’t settle for the rating. Workers Compensation is intended to compensate the injured employee for the loss in wage earning capacity. If you can no longer perform your position then a rating settlement will not compensate you for your injuries.
If you cannot return to work and are permanently disabled, you will continue to receive your weekly benefits, and the value of your claim generally increases.
Other factors to consider in a settlement are future medical bills, future prescriptions and travel to and from doctors. The fact that potential future medical expenses may exceed the settlement proceeds. In other words, there is no point in settling a a case for $25,000 when the potential medical expenses may cost $40,000. It is more sound to settle the case after the injured employee’s medical condition has improved or has stabilized. Therefore, the injured worker must carefully consider the value of his or her future medical expenses as it relates to the industrial accident.
Future entitlement to Medicaid or Medicare is also a consideration.
There are many factors to consider to determine how much a workers’ compensation claim may be “worth.”
However, the actual value of the case depends on what the insurance company will pay and how much or little the injured worker will take.
No two claims are the same and it is important to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
Best of luck!