Workers’ Compensation Lump Sum Settlements
Workers’ Compensation is a benefit for all Pennsylvania employees which covers wage loss, medical and specific loss benefits whenever an employee has an injury in the course and scope of employment. The injury can be a traumatic or repetitive injury, a disease process from an exposure or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. The injury does not have to be the fault of the employer just one that occurred while the employee was furthering the employer’s business.
If the employee can no longer do their time of injury job due to the injury for whatever medical reason, benefits will have to be paid by the employer. It should be simple; however, the workers’ compensation system is not a simple system to maneuver and often employees who should receive benefits do not receive benefits or even know that they are entitled to receive benefits. This is, in part, because they are relying on the employer to provide the information to them which will determine if they receive benefits. Many cases that would otherwise lead to a settlement or other benefits, will never be filed due to an uninformed employee. The lack of information is not the fault of the employee who is often misinformed by the employer or insurance company that would pay the workers’ compensation benefits.
Once an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits, if they are not able to go back to the same physical activity of their job and there is not another job provided by the employer, that injured worker may be in a position to settle their case for a lump sum.
It is possible to resolve your case for a lump sum if you are not physically able to return to your time of injury employer. If you are on total workers’ compensation, the employer may try to either shorten the time you are on workers’ compensation benefits or the amount which you receive:
- Your employer can bring you back to work in a light duty job and pay partial workers’ compensation if there is a reduction in your wages.
- Your employer can hire a vocational counselor to find job opportunities based on the parameters of the insurance company’s doctor or provide funded employment such as phone survey work performed in your home.
- Your employer can claim your disability is for a non-work-related condition, for example, claim your injury is not as extensive as it is and due only to arthritis or the natural aging process
In any of these scenarios, a workers’ compensation judge may be required to adjudicate any conflicting issues and determines whether your benefits should be stopped, decreased or shortened.
In any type of lump sum settlement many factors need to be considered such as public healthcare benefits, child support, pension benefits etc. Usually, a lump sum payment is based on the amount which the employer/insurance company is paying weekly in workers’ compensation benefits. It is not unusual to resolve a case for between three and five years of benefits based on the particular circumstances in each case.
For more information, please contact a skilled Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney with Rudberg Law Offices, LLC at 1.866.306.2667 or [email protected]
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