A work-related injury can lead to long-term medical expenses. While not all injuries are serious, some may linger, causing chronic pain and discomfort for many years. Workers' Compensation is a benefit designed to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages after an injury occurs in the workplace. For many people with certain types of injuries, taking a Workers' Compensation buyout may be more beneficial than letting their case drag on for years.
Workers' Compensation Buyouts
Workers' Compensation insurance providers will sometimes offer a "buyout" or settlement option to clients whose injuries are not severe but may require ongoing medical attention. A buyout provides them with a lump sum of cash that can be used for all of their future medical needs related to the injury. Once a buyout is accepted, the case is closed, and the client can no longer claim any more benefits for that particular injury.
Is It Worth It?
In many cases, a buyout is worth the cost simply because it closes the case and puts the client back in charge of the medical treatment they receive. However, accepting a buyout may be too costly for others, especially if other injuries present themselves in the future. A buyout should only be considered if you know the true extent of your injuries and do not expect to have any further complications over and above minor issues that can be taken care of on your own. Remember, just because you are offered a buyout does not mean you have to take it.
When Should I Avoid a Buyout?
Workers' Compensation insurance agencies will start to offer buyouts or settlements as soon as you begin to receive medical treatment. Before you consider any offer, you must look at the future. How long will you need medical care? Are complications possible? Resolve your questions and concerns with your doctor before considering any settlement. Make sure you have as much information as possible. If you feel unsure and are worried about medical issues in the future, avoid the buyout, and continue working with your doctor.
The Pros and Cons of a Workers' Comp Settlement Buyout
A workers' compensation settlement buyout has both pros and cons that must be carefully weighed before you make your final decision. Taking a buyout will provide you with a lump sum of money to cover your immediate needs. It will also close your case so that you will no longer receive any future benefits. The drawback is that once you accept the buyout and receive payment, you can no longer file a claim even if you have future medical needs. This is a decision that you shouldn't take lightly. Consulting with an attorney will help you make the right decision.
How Much Future Medical Care Can You Receive in Your Workers' Comp Case?
If you avoid the buyout and choose to keep your insurance claim open, the amount the insurance company will pay may depend on how long your doctor says you may require future treatment. The same is true when negotiating a buyout as you will want to figure out the potential cost of any treatment plans. The insurance company may try to offer as little as 25% of the total. In the end, it is up to you to negotiate a settlement you can live with.
Contact an Attorney to Evaluate Your Settlement Offer
Before you choose to sign on the dotted line and agree to any type of settlement offer, contact an attorney who specializes in workers' compensation cases. Gaylord & Nantais understand workers' compensation cases and know how to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement. Instead of just taking an offer, figure out what your future expenses may be like and base your decision on those numbers. Our experts can help you negotiate an offer that will allow you to receive the level of treatment you need for as long as you need it.
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