Settling a workplace injury claim with the worker’s compensation board can help individuals avoid a hearing, which can offer peace of mind and assurance. However, there are a broad range of disadvantages to accepting a settlement offer before consulting an experienced legal professional. Employees who are suffering from a work-related injury may want to consider the following prior to reaching a settlement with the worker’s comp board.
Relinquishes the Right to Future Medical Reimbursements
Many worker’s compensation settlement offers do not account for future medical treatments. If they do, they may underestimate the total cost of all health care that an individual needs over the course of their lifetime to treat injuries that are related to the accident. The offer also does not consider the fact that injuries may worsen over time, which can leave the injured employee with mounting medical bills that are not covered by their original settlement.
Worker’s Comp Contracts Are Legally Binding
Once an individual signs the worker’s comp settlement contract, they do not have any legal grounds to modify or retract any section of the agreement. However, if they do have an attorney representing them during a worker’s comp hearing, they have the opportunity to contest any and all aspects of the benefit agreement. For example, if they disagree with the medical expenses that the board has agreed to cover, they can take up the issue during the hearing.
May Not Offer Employees the Terms They Desire
Aside from the reward amount and benefits, there are a variety of other terms that may be overlooked during a settlement agreement. The terms of payment is one such example. Some settlement contracts may specify that an individual is to receive compensation over an extended period of time, while others allow them to receive it in one lump sum.
Consulting with a qualified worker’s compensation attorney before agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth by the board can lead to a wide range of benefits. Legal professionals can inform employees of their rights and advise them regarding the best course of action.