Are you considering a settlement with the workers’ compensation insurance company in Clearwater, FL? Accepting a lump sum settlement can have serious consequences. A Clearwater lump sum settlements lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can work to make sure you’re receiving the fair compensation you deserve.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 300 years of experience helping injured workers get back on their feet. We’ve recovered over $675 million for our clients over the years.
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How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Clearwater
A serious work injury or illness can change your life forever. If you were injured on the job, it’s important to understand your options under Florida workers’ compensation laws. Rather than receiving benefits over time, you might be considering a single lump sum payment.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to take advantage of injured workers. They know that a settlement might seem like a lot of money–even if it doesn’t fully account for your losses.
Our experienced Clearwater workers’ compensation lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help with every aspect of your case.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer means you’ll have an advocate who will:
- Handle the paperwork and administrative issues
- Assess the fair value of your workers’ compensation claim
- Work with your doctor to evaluate your future prognosis
- Negotiate with the insurance companies to maximize your settlement
Your settlement is too important to risk going it alone. Instead, call our Florida law firm for a free consultation with a Clearwater personal injury attorney today.
Workers’ Compensation Lump Sum Settlements in Florida
Most employers in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you were injured on the job and your employer has at least four employees, you’re probably entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Construction industry employers with one employee are required to carry workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits for:
- Reasonable and necessary medical bills
- Lost income while you recover
- Disability benefits
- Benefits for wrongful death
Most of the time, injured workers receive a weekly wage replacement check equal to about ⅔ of their average weekly wages. However, if you suffered a permanent and total disability, such as a brain injury, you may be offered a lump sum settlement. That settlement releases your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company from any future payments.
What Should I Consider Before Accepting a Lump Sum Settlement?
It’s important to consider all the facts before accepting a lump sum settlement. Once you accept a settlement, you’ll lose your right to seek additional compensation for your injuries. So, it’s critical to make sure the settlement fully accounts for all of your past and future costs.
Important factors to questions to ask before taking a settlement include:
- Have you reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)?
- Will you be required to stop working if you accept the lump sum offer?
- Is it possible that your injuries or medical condition could worsen over time?
- Does the settlement fully compensate for your losses?
- Will you be accepting less money than you really deserve?
Once a lump sum agreement is finalized, it can only be modified under rare circumstances.
Further, once you’ve accepted a lump sum, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will stop paying your medical bills. In other words, your employer will be released from all future liability. If your condition worsens, you’ll be on the hook for any unexpected expenses.
On the other hand, the lump sum settlement gives you more freedom. You won’t have to continue to visit an approved doctor–meaning that you can visit any doctor you choose. Further, you’ll be able to decide how to invest your settlement and won’t have to wait for weekly checks to arrive.
How Much is My Lump Sum Settlement?
Like any car accident claim, the value of your workers’ compensation settlement can depend on a number of factors, including:
- The severity of your injury and the nature of your permanent disability
- Whether you have any unpaid medical bills
- The cost of your expected future medical treatment and rehabilitation
- Whether you can work in any capacity
- How much you earned before the work injury
- The strength of the evidence in your case
These settlements are generally negotiated in the same way as a typical motor vehicle accident claim. So, the value of your claim can vary depending on your lawyer’s skill. That’s one reason why it’s always a good idea to consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer before accepting any settlement.
How Do I Finalize My Lump Sum Settlement Agreement?
If you don’t have a lawyer representing you, you can only finalize a lump sum settlement if:
- Your employer denied your claim within 120 days after receiving notice of the injury and the workers’ compensation judge finds there is some controversy over your right to workers’ comp benefits, or
- You have obtained maximum medical improvement
In all other cases, you’ll need a lawyer to represent you.
Regardless of the circumstances, the workers’ compensation board may have to approve the settlement agreement. You won’t need a hearing if you hire a lawyer. The state will assume the lawyer has evaluated the deal and protected your interests. However, the judge will have to approve the contingency fee you pay your lawyer.
If you proceed without a lawyer, the judge will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will review the settlement and documentation to determine whether it’s a fair deal.
If you’ve reached MMI, the judge only has to approve the deal if the settlement is less than the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you would have received.
Contact a Clearwater Lump Sum Settlements Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Are you deciding whether to accept a workers’ compensation lump sum payment after a work-related accident or injury in Clearwater or St. Petersburg? Call us today to get the legal advice you deserve. A Clearwater lump sum settlements lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you determine whether the agreement is a fair deal.