Are you considering accepting a workers’ compensation settlement?
First, consider the pros and cons listed below. Next, contact our Great Falls, MT workers’ compensation lawyers for advice about your specific case.
Pro: Upfront lump sum
Injured workers often have the choice to accept a one-time lump sum for a settlement or a series of checks paid weekly for a stipulated number of weeks. If you need the benefits up front to help pay for a major expense due to your injury, then you have the option to negotiate with the insurance company for a lump sum.
Con: Voided future rights
If you and your attorney decide to settle for a lump sum, this means you void your rights to future benefits. For example, if your doctor later believes you need an expensive prescription drug or a major surgery down the road, then accepting a lump sum will make compensation for these expenses impossible.
Pro: Ability to renegotiate
Even after you and your attorney have reached an agreement with the insurance company, you still have the option to renegotiate while collecting the amount originally agreed upon to try changing the pay plan or the sum.
Con: Smaller settlement
You might end up with less than you deserve if you reach a settlement with the insurance company, especially if it’s a lump sum. If an agreement cannot be reached with the insurance company and you decide to take it to trial, the court may award a smaller amount than what was offered by the insurance company.
Pro: Ending the litigation faster
Filing a lawsuit and disputing a denied claim can be a long, exhausting process. Ending the litigation is often the most appealing part of accepting a workers’ compensation settlement. You can start collecting the amount agreed upon and you won’t have to go to trial.
Con: Lowering the agreed-upon amount
While it’s still possible to reopen the case in the future, renegotiating means you run the risk of lowering the amount originally agreed upon. If your case goes to trial, a judge may feel that what you’re currently receiving is too much.
How a Montana workers’ compensation lawyer can help
According to Montana statutes (39-71-105), the main purpose of the Montana workers’ compensation system is “…to provide, without regard to fault, wage-loss and medical benefits to a worker suffering from a work-related injury or disease.”
In the event of a work-related injury or illness, you have the right to seek out an experienced lawyer to help you through this long and confusing process. The workers’ compensation system can be complex, but at Murphy Law Firm, we believe our clients should know their rights before reaching a settlement.
With over 65 years of combined experience and representing thousands of injured Montanans with great success, our knowledgeable attorneys promise to treat your case with the unique time and attention it deserves.