Under Florida law, employers should be able to provide compensation for workers who got injured on the job. Most of them, however, routinely deny workers compensation claims. But there are others who will offer a settlement.
At first glance, a settlement sounds like a good idea. Your claim didn’t get denied and you get compensated for your injuries. But before you sign that settlement agreement, take a closer look at it first. After all, employers and insurance companies won’t offer a settlement if they didn’t think it would be more advantageous for them.
Here are the top questions you need to ask about your workers compensation settlement…
How Much Will I Get?
Workers comp settlement agreements usually mention different kinds of benefits. Some of them you won’t receive in cash. This includes payment for medical treatments which usually make up a large part of your settlement.
Get to the bottom line and ask how much you will get in check or cash. Is it enough to cover your medical costs? Will it be able to sustain you while you recuperate from your injuries? Knowing this will make it easier for you to manage your expectations.
How Long Will The Process Take?
Having a clear timeline of the settlement process will help you prepare yourself financially and mentally. Insurance companies often process settlements very slowly. It could take weeks before you get your money.
Ask your employer how long the process will take once you said yes to the settlement. Your workers compensation attorney should be able to give you an overview of the process and its timeline. According to Florida law, you should receive your first check within 21 days after you reported your injury to your employer.
Should I Take This to Court Instead?
This is a dilemma often faced by injured workers who receive an offer for settlement. Should you settle or take it to court? Which is the most cost-efficient and beneficial course of action? Will your case stand before a jury? An experienced and trusted workers compensation lawyer in Florida like Victor Malca can help you with this. He has already helped thousands of injured workers claim the benefits they rightfully deserve both in and out of court.
If I Settle Now and My Condition Gets Worse, Can I Still Claim For Benefits Later?
Agreeing to a settlement agreement signifies that you’re releasing your employer from any liability. This means you can’t file for any additional benefits if your condition gets worse in the future.
State laws also provide that you can’t reopen your workers comp case if you’ve already agreed to a settlement. What you receive now is all there is to it unless your insurance company agrees to provide for future benefits. But this very rarely happens as insurance firms prefer to end their obligations at once.
Will I Be Paid If I Lose Time From Work?
If you miss work because of a work-related injury, Florida law states that you will not be paid for the first 7 days. But if your disability prevents you from working for more than 21 days, you can get paid for the first seven. Ideally, this should be the case. But some settlement agreements don’t contain this provision. Make sure to clear this up and how much lost wages compensation you will receive.
How Will Attorney Fees Be Paid?
Legal fees for workers compensation cases are usually paid by taking a certain percentage of the total benefits granted by the courts. In settlement agreements, there is no clear-cut rule. Some employers will agree to pay for the attorney fees directly to your lawyer. While others may insist that you pay the legal fees yourself causing you to lose a portion of your settlement.
If your case needs court intervention, you will need the best workers compensation attorney. This is to make sure that you are well-represented and has the highest chance of getting the wage you are entitled to. Click here to learn more about workers comp and social security disability law.