Lump Sum Settlements
Workers who are injured on the job in Delaware are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is essential for workers who may be facing costly medical bills and lost wages. There are several factors that can affect how much an injured worker receives, and insurance companies will often try to avoid paying the full amount to which workers are entitled. It is important for injured workers to understand their rights and their options for receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Pros and Cons of Lump Sums
Workers’ Compensation is typically awarded in regular increments during the worker’s recovery period. Alternatively, workers can choose to receive their benefits in a lump sum payment. This approach allows them to collect the full amount of their benefits up front, rather than wait for weekly payments. A lump sum payment gives employees more freedom to spend or invest their money how they choose, which can be especially beneficial for workers with debts. Receiving a lump sum settlement guarantees benefits in the agreed-upon amount, while taking the matter to court may risk a lower amount.
There are disadvantages to this approach, however. Some work-related injuries will require long-term care and receiving all Workers’ Compensation benefits at once can make it difficult to plan for future expenses. Additionally, workers who agree to a lump sum settlement waive any right to future claims for their injury. If it becomes clear that their disability will permanently prevent them from working or their injury requires further treatment down the line, they will not be able to pursue additional benefits.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Before deciding on a lump sum or structured settlement, it is important for an injured worker to understand what benefits they are eligible for, including:
- Medical costs: The employer or insurance company is responsible for paying medical bills related to the work injury. In a lump sum settlement, the worker will have to estimate the cost of their future medical care; insurance companies will often try to negotiate a much lower amount for this, so getting an opinion from a doctor is critical.
- Lost wages: If the employee is temporarily unable to work, they should still receive a percentage of their wages during that time. There are penalties for employers who make these payments late or in the wrong amount.
- Permanent Partial Disability: If the work-related injury will leave the employee with permanent loss of function, disfigurement, or scarring, they will receive a permanent partial disability (PPD) rating from the insurance company based on the severity of the disability and how it impacts future earnings. This rating is used to determine PPD benefits using a formula the state has laid out.
- Permanent Total Disability: If an employee’s rating is high enough or they are left totally disabled by their injury, they may be eligible for pension awards on top of their permanent disability benefits.
Insurers will do their best to minimize the amount they are paying out, so having an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer by your side is vital to ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Comprehensive Representation to Injured Workers
There are many factors that affect the amount an employee receives in their lump sum settlement. If you were injured at work, the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle all types of Workers’ Compensation cases. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and obtain the maximum benefits to which you are entitled. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we represent injured workers throughout the state, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or contact us online for a free consultation.