One of the most effective ways to conclude a workers’ compensation claim is getting a settlement. A skilled Atlanta workers comp lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company an amount of money that covers both your medical care costs and your lost wages. This amount is payable either as a structured settlement or a lump sum.
Here is what you need to know about both types of settlement.
How Does a Lump Sum Settlement Work?
If you opt for a lump sum, you will receive the entire amount representing the benefits the attorney negotiated on your behalf. From this point onwards, your Georgia workers’ compensation claim is resolved and it is your responsibility to manage the money and handle your medical care.
You cannot go back for any extra amount for medical care or claim lost wages or loss of earning ability.
Benefits and Caveats of Lump Sum Settlements
The most important benefit of a lump sum settlement is that you are no longer obliged to get your treatments approved by the insurance company. You are free to see your own doctor, to try innovative treatments or new drugs.
Also, having a large amount of money at your disposal allows you to multiply it by investing or to become independent by opening your own business.
However, many people run the risk of spending the settlement on gifts, home improvements, and other things on their bucket list. It is important to remember that the money is supposed to cover your present AND future medical care costs. Thus, if you received a large amount, it is likely that you will need future treatments and therapies.
What Exactly Is a Structured Settlement?
A structured settlement involves splitting the total amount of the workers’ comp claim benefits into several payments over a period of time. Most workers opt for annual payments.
With this type of settlement, you can rest assured that you will not run out of money for long-term medical care costs.
Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement
Your Atlanta workers comp attorney will explain that getting smaller payments over a period of time is a good idea if you want to benefit from programs like Medicare or Medicaid. You will not experience a sudden income increase that will disqualify you from these programs.
Also, you will remain free to choose your treating physician and the types of therapies you use to recover from your workplace accident. The insurance company is no longer involved in your case.
But you need to make sure you arrange your payment plan carefully. Once it is set and agreed, you cannot change it. For example, if you need more money in one year for an expensive medical procedure, you cannot request the payment for the next year in advance.
Your Attorney Will Assist You in Making the Right Choice
You only have one chance to determine how you get your workers’ comp benefits paid. So you will need assistance from your lawyer in this process. A lump sum payment may have tax implications. Also, the structured settlement may prevent you from claiming various employment rights over the covered period, such as paid sick time.
A Skilled Atlanta Workers Comp Lawyer Will Help You Make the Best Choice!
You get only one chance to obtain benefits after a workplace accident. So let an experienced Atlanta workers comp lawyer help you file your claim and negotiate your settlement. At the same time, the lawyer will help you decide between getting your money in a lump sum and a structured settlement.
We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 470-518-5026 to schedule yours!