If you have been in a workplace accident that has resulted in your injury or illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In Missouri, injured workers are entitled to compensation for medical care, lost wages and specific loss benefits that are meant to offer financial cushion if the injury is so severe as the keep them out of work.
Before accepting a settlement following a workplace injury, it is important that you take certain factors into account. For one, it is important to keep in mind that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance is in business, and safeguarding their bottom line is their utmost priority. When the insurance adjuster is ready to offer a settlement, it could be because they have figured out this will save the company money in the long run.
Before agreeing to a settlement, here are some of the factors you need to keep in mind:
Ongoing treatment costs
Depending on the nature of your injury, it may take months or even years to recover fully. Even if you resume work, you may require ongoing therapy or other treatment to ensure total recovery. It is important that you factor these costs before accepting a settlement offer.
Your doctor’s diagnosis
The settlement amount offered by the insurance company will be based on their doctor’s evaluation of your injury or illness. If you feel this assessment is inaccurate, you should consider seeking a second opinion from your doctor. Without a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified specialist, it is difficult to understand whether the settlement offer will be able to take care of your future medical expenses.
Type of settlement
A lump sum settlement can provide you with peace of mind a sense of closure. You have the money in your bank so you can focus on your treatment and recovery. Weekly or monthly payments, on the other hand, can be terminated at any time. The insurance company may require you to undergo routine medical exams to determine if you still need treatment. This kind of arrangement can be stressful and could impact your recovery process.
Workers’ compensation benefits can offer an important financial lifeline when you are hurt at work. Whether a settlement is in your best interest depends on your specific circumstances. It is crucial that you take these considerations into account before accepting a settlement offer.