Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Maryland: Pros and ConsJune 15, 2023
When you are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, you can elect to receive them weekly or to take a lump-sum settlement payment. There are pros and cons to each choice. Settling a Workers’ Compensation claim is a significant decision affecting your future. Before you make this decision, you should always seek advice from a lawyer.
When to Seek a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
You should not seek a settlement agreement until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). In a Workers’ Compensation case, MMI is when further medical treatment will not help you recover anymore. Only then do you know exactly what your future may hold and whether you can eventually return to work. When you have not yet reached MMI, there may also be uncertainty about your condition and how much care you may need in the future.
The insurance company may try to rush you into a settlement before you are ready. They may think that they can save money by catching you unaware of how much your claim may be worth. If you settle your case too early, you may not receive full compensation because you do not know the extent of your injuries.
Once you sign a Workers’ Compensation settlement agreement, you cannot go back to get more money in the Settlements may not be the best idea if you anticipate high future medical expenses. One protection you have in Maryland is
However, sometimes a Workers’ Compensation settlement may make sense for you. Many claimants will opt for a settlement because they get all their money upfront. They are offered what seems like a large amount of money and want to accept it. Insurance companies also like settlements because they can clear the claim from their books. They also try to avoid paying you less than the full amount you deserve.
There are some reasons why you may consider a settlement, including:
- You may not need much further medical treatment since you have reached MMI.
- You are not entirely confident in winning your case in front of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Appeals Division.
- There are still some disputed issues in your case.
Potential Drawbacks of a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
You need to be certain that you are getting the right settlement that works for you. The insurance company usually only settles a case if it is advantageous for them. Usually, they are trying to get away with paying you less than you otherwise would have received through weekly benefits. What may seem like a large amount of money now could be a bad deal for you if the insurance company is saving money at your expense. The decisions that you make now will impact your life for a long time to come.
You may not correctly anticipate your medical expenses in the future. Then, you may not have these expenses covered when you need them. You could consider negotiating a partial settlement with the insurance company, which covers the lost wages portion of your claim but not the medical expenses. This way, you would not have to estimate your medical expenses precisely now.
You need to be prepared for a large influx of money into your account, and you will need the settlement money to cover your bills and pay for your medical expenses. If you cannot manage the money properly, you may burn through the funds without the ability to get more in the future.
If you accept a settlement, there is a chance that you may run out of money in the future. If your injury is severe enough, you cannot return to work to make up for the shortfall. You cannot supplement your settlement money with disability insurance benefits because they do not cover workplace injuries.
Getting Legal Advice Can Help
Many of the “cons” may be addressed when you hire a Workers’ Compensation lawyer for your case. They will ensure that you understand the terms of the agreement and know exactly what you are signing. Your lawyer will tell you that if an agreement is not in your best interest. Your lawyer’s job is to look out for your best interests.
A Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Can Help You With a Settlement
A Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help you when you have a complex Workers’ Compensation claim or have been denied. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.