Should you take a lump-sum settlement after a work injury?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2021 | Death Benefits, FAQs, Workers' Compensation

When you are hurt on the job, it’s important for you to get medical care as soon as you can. Then, let your employer know, if they don’t already, that you’ll be making a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation should cover any type of work-related injury. Depending on the situation, you may need short- or long-term medical care or other supports that are difficult to cover without the financial support of workers’ compensation. That’s why you should make your claim as soon as possible.

How soon can you get your workers’ compensation settlement?

How long it takes to get workers’ compensation depends on if you’re able to get the claim approved the first time and how long it takes for the claim to process. In some cases, it may be several weeks or months before you get compensated.

With that much time passed, you might be starting to see medical bills accrue. It’s reasonable to want to take care of them, but the insurance coverage you have through workers’ compensation should be paying those bills. Wait as long as you can. Your attorney will also help try to push the process along.

Should you accept a lump-sum settlement to expedite your case?

If you would like to settle quickly, a lump-sum settlement may hurry your case along. However, you need to be cautious not to accept a settlement that is too low or that doesn’t take all of the impacts of your injuries into consideration. You may also not want to accept it if it would impact your right to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Whether or not you take a lump-sum settlement will depend on if:

  • Your health is improving or you have recovered
  • You have declining health
  • You need specific help with college tuition or other immediate financial needs
  • You are approaching retirement, so you know the lump sum will cover your losses and other needs

It’s not always a good idea to accept a lump-sum settlement, especially if it hasn’t been negotiated. Your attorney will spend time talking to you about what you’d like to do and help you determine if any settlement off you receive is enough. If not, they will continue to negotiate on your behalf to work out a better solution.