Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits are usually paid in weekly or biweekly payments over a set period of time. However Pennsylvania law allows injured workers the option of receiving this compensation in one lump sum. This is called a “Lump Sum Settlement” or a “Compromise and Release.”
Not every injured worker qualifies for a lump sum settlement. To be eligible for a lump sum settlement, you must meet both of the following qualifications:
- You have been unable to work for at least four months due to a work-related injury.
- You are currently receiving PA Workers’ Compensation.
The lump sum settlement covers both your medical expenses your lost wages. Once you’ve accepted a lump sum settlement, you cannot request further compensation. The insurance company has no further obligation. This is true even if your injury worsens and you require further treatment. You alone will be responsible for any future medical expenses.
Is a Lump Sum Settlement Right For You?
A lump sum payment can allow a family to pay off medical bills and other debts. However, when you accept a lump sum settlement for your medical expenses, you are no longer eligible to receive further compensation for your medical treatment. This means that you need to make sure that your settlement covers all your injury related medical expenses and any future expense. Here are some things to consider?
- How severe is your workplace injury?
- How long will you be unable to work?
- Do you have the skills and training to get another type of job?
- Will the settlement provide financial security until you can return to your job?
- Are you still making progress on your recovery?
- Could your condition get worse or cause permanent disability?
- Are there complications, such as arthritis, that can occur with your injury?
- Will you need surgery or additional medical treatment?
- Will the settlement offer cover your needs?
- Will you get more money from regular payments?
There are times when a lump sum settlement is a good idea, but you need to weigh your options carefully. Many insurance companies offer a settlement when they expect to pay a large amount is Workers’ Compensation benefits. The settlement may seem generous, but the insurance companies almost always offer much less than the injured worker deserves. This is why it is very important that you discuss your options with an attorney before accepting the insurance company’s offer of a lump sum.
Know Your Legal Options
Attorney Jay Shor was instrumental in passing the 1996 law that established lump sum settlements in Pennsylvania. The law allows injured workers the same right to a settlement as other injury victims. However, Jay recognizes that this option is not a good choice for everyone.
If you are considering a lump sum settlement, contact the Bulldog Lawyers at Shor & Levin. We’ll evaluate your claim and help you determine if a lump sum settlement is a good option for you. If the insurance company isn’t offering enough, we will negotiate a settlement that is both fair and equitable.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Call Shor & Levin at 855-631-2013 and ask to schedule a free case evaluation, or fill out an online contact form. One of our attorneys will call you back.