According to the Missouri Department of Labor, there were 8,102 workers’ compensation claims filed in June of 2022. Extrapolated over a year, this number to slightly over 97,000 workers’ compensation claims for the year. The reality, however, is the vast majority of these claims will be settled out of court.
So, the question then becomes, should you settle your workers’ compensation claim? The answer to this question is not always clear-cut and will ultimately depend on a variety of factors specific to your case. To learn more about the benefits of settling a workers’ compensation claim in Columbia, get in touch with one of our lawyers today.
When an employee is injured on the job, they are typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which can include medical expenses, wage replacement, and death benefits. In some cases, however, an employer may offer to settle the claim outright. There are several things to keep in mind if you are considering settling your workers’ compensation claim in Columbia, MO.
First, it is important to understand that settling a workers’ compensation claim will release the employer from all liability related to the accident. This means that if your condition worsens or you develop new injuries as a result of the accident, you will not be able to receive any additional benefits. Additionally, the amount you receive in a settlement may be less than what you would ultimately receive if you were successful in litigating your claim.
It is typically much faster to settle a claim than it is to litigate it, so the most obvious benefit to settling is it allows you to avoid the time and expense of litigation. This means you’ll receive your benefits sooner rather than later. If you choose to settle your claim, you will also be able to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with going to trial. Additionally, settling your claim allows you to receive a lump sum payment for your injuries, which can be beneficial if you have mounting medical bills or are unable to work. A skilled attorney in Columbia could explain the pros of cons and settling an employee benefits claim in depth during a consultation.
The amount you ultimately settle for will depend on numerous factors, including the severity of your injuries, the expected cost of future medical care, the wages you have lost because of your injuries, and whether you can return to work. This is a critical factor because once you settle your workers’ compensation claim, you will not be able to receive any additional benefits, even if your condition worsens. Because of this, it is often recommended to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling your workers’ compensation claim in Columbia. Once you reach MMI, your condition is not expected to improve any further and you’ll have a better understanding of the long-term effects of your injuries.
In addition to the pros and cons, there are a few other factors to keep in mind before you accept a workers’ compensation settlement. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some of the more common considerations:
This includes both the time you have already missed from work and any future time you will miss from work. You should also be compensated for any reduction in earnings you have experienced because of your injuries.
All your medical bills related to the accident should be paid before you settle your claim. Once you settle, you will not be able to receive any additional benefits, even if you have unpaid medical bills.
If you’ll have any ongoing medical needs related to the accident, it’s important to ensure the workers’ compensation settlement will cover the cost of this future medical care. This includes prescriptions and any necessary medical devices.
In addition to medical bills, any other expenses related to your medical care should be paid. This includes mileage reimbursement for trips to and from doctor’s appointments as well as the cost of physical therapy.
If you’ve been permanently disabled as a result of your injuries, make sure that the workers’ compensation settlement will provide you with enough money to live on for the rest of your life.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to settle your workers’ compensation claim is a personal one that should be made after careful consideration of all the facts of your case. Deciding on the right course of action, however, can be difficult, which is why it is recommended that you speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before making any decisions. A Columbia workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights and options under the law and can assist you in negotiating a fair settlement of your claim.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to settle your workers’ compensation claim. The wrong decision could have a significant impact on your life. The attorneys at the Law Office of Chris Miller understand the complexities of Missouri workers’ compensation law and can help you make the best decision for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out more about the benefits of settling a workers’ compensation claim in Columbia is the best option for you.