Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Read Before Settling Your Worker's Compensation Claim

Worker's compensation insurance is beneficial for both the employer and the employee. This is because while it denies the employee the right to sue the employer in the case of work related injury, illness or disability caused by the employer's negligence, it entitles the employees to compensation in case of such injuries regardless of who is at fault. The amount to be received by an individual is not determined by the cause if the accident whether or not it was the workers own fault. The right to worker's compensation is, however, lost if the injury is caused as a result of intoxication or where there is intention to cause injury.

The need to settle

The payment of worker's compensation may lead to some disputes. In this case the claim is not paid till the dispute is solved. In case of a dispute, the parties may need to seek the aid of the state worker's compensation board, and more often there will be the need to settle. While settlement may be a good idea as it saves on time and prevents the severing of the worker- employer relationship, there are a few things that one needs to know before agreeing to settle.

What happens in case of a settlement?

In most situations, when the worker's compensation case is ongoing the employee receives weekly benefits for the injury. When the employee agrees to settle however, he or she cannot receive these weekly benefits.

Depending on the state, the medical payments may or may not continue. Some states require the insurer to pay the medical benefits even after the settlement of the case. In most cases after a settlement however the insurer is never willing to continue with the medical payments. This may lead to the need for a claim to be filed with the board, forcing the insurer to make the medical payments.

Considerations to make before settling

Settling may at times seem to be the best decision but before you agree to settle there are a few considerations that one needs to make.

First the settlement has to be approved by the State Worker's Compensation Agency. Once the proposal to settle is submitted to the agency, a hearing is held and the proposal is reviewed. A judge has to be satisfied that the agreement to settle was voluntary and that the terms of the settlement are favorable to the employee otherwise the proposal is denied.