It is that time. With 2018 on the horizon, businesses are trying to tie up loose ends before the calendar turns. Workers compensation insurance carriers are no different. Insurance carriers like to close out as many claims as possible to not carry them into the next year. That means you may get an offer to settle your workers compensation claim.
My advice — exercise caution. Call Mooney & Associates for a FREE consultation before setting your workers compensation claim.
Why exercise caution?
1. Are you ready to settle your claim, medically speaking. Are you done with surgeries? Do you need additional injections? Are you getting better? Are you going to have permanent work restrictions? What are your costs for future medical treatment? These are all very important questions that need to be discussed and thought through and can impact both the feasibility of settlement and value of your case. Just because you settle your workers compensation claim does not mean your private health insurance or Medicare or Medicaid will just pick up your medical expenses related to your work injury.
2. Is it fair? Most times, what an insurance carrier is going to offer you is below what is fair and reasonable. Listen, their number one concern is to get out of each claim as cheaply as possible. You and your future are not their concern. Our concern is you and ensuring you are getting the fairest settlement possible. We will work hard to maximize your settlement value. Every injury is different. Every story is different. Every carrier is different. Every employer is different. There are tons of factors that should be considered to determine exactly what is ‘fair and reasonable’. That is why it is absolutely paramount for you to get expertise advice from an experienced workers compensation professional.
3. What about other issues in your case? What are your future medical costs? Do you have outstanding medical bills not being paid by the insurance carrier? Did you pay for prescriptions or doctor visit and therefore have out of pocket costs? Is there a subrogation lien with your health insurance? Is there a subrogation lien from Medicare or Medicaid? Are there applicable offsets? These types of issues can get quite complex.
4. Is it the right time? This is the most important question to be asked when considering to settle your claim. It may not be the right time for you. We will sit down with you, listen to your concerns, become familiar with your claim, then provide our advice. I have advised hundreds of clients to NOT settle at a particular time. It is a very important and personal decision and we take that time to discuss it with you. What about social security disability? Should I apply before settling or after settling? Am I eligible for social security disability? Is it even an option for me?
5. Remember, it is final. In most circumstances, when an insurance carrier settles a claim, it is completely settled. What does that mean? It means your entitlement to wage loss benefits and any future medical care is over. Any future medical costs for your work injury will become your sole and exclusive responsibility. That is precisely why it is such an important decision. Yes, there are hybrid type settlements that fully leave medicals open or leave medicals open for a limited purpose, but they are certainly the minority type of settlement in workers compensation. Given the significant impact that settlement has on your rights under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, speaking with an experienced workers compensation attorney is a no-brainer.
Count on Mooney
Our legal team has decades of experience in complex workers compensation cases. We stand ready to assist you in your time of need and you know you can Count on Mooney, whatever your legal need.
Mooney & Associates has 15 offices spread throughout Central Pennsylvania including: