After a workplace accident you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. In Ohio you have the option to settle your claim at any time, but that isn’t always in your best interest. Additionally, there are different ways you can finalize your workers’ compensation case. Your lawyer can help you understand your options and, in the case of egregious employer conduct, sue for additional damages.
What Do I Give Up When I Settle?
Once you settle your workers’ comp claim, with or without the assistance of a lawyer, you waive all rights to future payouts. Your settlement will only involve the present injury. However, if your medical condition gets worse after the settlement of the claim, you cannot reopen the same file. For that reason, many injured workers wait to settle until their condition is stable.
What Kinds of Settlement Can I Get?
Usually a workers’ compensation settlement is paid in one lump sum. Sometimes money is deducted from that lump sum, like attorney’s fees, unpaid child support, medical bills or money to be put into a Medicare set-aside account. Your lump sum may be paid all at the same time, or as a structured settlement that you receive in installments.
Sometimes, injured workers negotiate a partial settlement. In this case, you may waive your right to future wage loss but still put in a claim for future medical treatment. Not many people negotiate partial settlements, but a workers’ compensation attorney can discuss the possibility with you.
After your settlement is final, you have 30 days to change your mind until the file is permanently closed.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Most workplace injuries are settled within the workers’ compensation system. However, if the employer has acted in a way that was a serious threat to your health or safety, leading to your injuries, you may also launch a lawsuit. Examples include insisting upon workplace procedures that are likely to cause injury or removing safety guards from hazardous equipment.
Review Your Options for Free With a Lawyer
You only have one chance to settle your workers’ compensation claim. Before you give up any potential benefits, you may want to speak with a lawyer who works in your best interest. Initial consultations with FDS Law are always free. Contact us today to learn more.