In certain situations, your Coral Gables workers comp lawyer will push towards getting a settlement of your workplace injury claim. This means that, instead of getting compensation for medical care bills as they come in and weekly replacement wages, you will get a one-time payment covering all eligible benefits. At this point, you have to decide how to get this money: as a structured settlement or a lump sum.
Let us explain what each of these choices involves.
How Does a Structured Settlement Work?
A workers’ compensation structured settlement involves staggering the payment of the settlement amount over a period of time. For example, if your attorney negotiates a $100,000 settlement, you may choose to collect $10,000 per year over the next 10 years.
This is an effective solution if you want to be certain of a regular income coming in, should you need further medical care or be out of work from time to time. Also, the structured settlement amounts are exempt from taxes.
What Happens If You Choose a Lump Sum Payment?
Some injured workers may opt for a lump sum to settle their workers comp claim. The first thing your Coral Gables workers comp attorney will explain to you is that you cannot go back and ask for more money after your claim settles.
Thus, if you run out of money and still need treatments for your workplace injury, you will have to pay for them out of pocket or through your health care insurance plan.
Making the Right Choice: Pros and Cons of Both Options
Since this is a one-time payment, with no further legal recourse, you must think carefully about how you prefer to collect your workers comp settlement. So, let us examine the pros and cons of the lump sum and the structured settlement.
Pros and Cons of a Lump Sum Settlement
A lump sum settlement provides immediate access to a significant amount of money, which can be particularly beneficial in addressing immediate medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and other pressing expenses. You can even choose to invest some of this money.
Another benefit is that you do not have to go to the assigned workers’ compensation doctor. You can see your own doctor and you do not have to seek the insurance company’s approval for treatments.
However, there are drawbacks to a lump sum settlement. Without careful planning and budgeting, the funds can run out sooner than expected.
Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement
A structured settlement gives you financial security over a period of time. At the same time, just as in the case of the lump sum, you can see any doctor you wish. Also, you don’t have to justify the need for medical treatments to the insurance company.
But you must remember that once you agree to a payment schedule, you cannot change it. For instance, if you agreed on receiving $10,000 per year and your workplace injury suddenly gets worse and you need surgery which costs $25,000, you cannot contact the insurer asking for a larger portion out of the settlement for the respective year.
Why Choose to Settle Your Claim?
With so many potential pitfalls, you may wonder whether settling your claim is a good idea. If you need long-term medical care, the answer is yes. Consider the idea of having to justify every procedure and new drug recommended by your doctor to an insurance adjuster.
You cannot start treatment without the workers’ comp insurer’s approval. Otherwise, they may refuse to pay for it. Thus, you are tied for years to this company, which will continue looking into ways of denying payments or even stopping your benefits altogether.
An Experienced Coral Gables Workers Comp Lawyer Can Help You Make the Best Choice!
When having to choose between a lump sum and a structured settlement for your claim, the best choice is to consult with your Coral Gable workers comp lawyer. The attorney will explain to you in great detail the benefits and risks of each option.
We are here for you from the very beginning of your workers’ compensation claim. Call us today at (786) 686-2857 to schedule a free case review!