Lump Sum Settlements
If you have been hurt on the job, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of temporary disability, permanent disability, and medical benefits. Depending upon your circumstances, it might be to your benefit to consider a lump sum settlement rather than receiving payments over a long period of time. However, you should talk to an attorney before accepting such an offer from your employer or its insurance company. Experienced Rockland County workers’ compensation attorney Valerie J. Crown has handled many of these cases, and she can help you understand your legal rights following a job-related injury.
The first step in any workers’ compensation case is filing a notice of claim. This is a two-step process that consists of giving written notice of your accident or injury to your employer and filing a formal Employee Claim (C-3) form with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. The process is the same regardless of whether the employee has suffered an acute injury (such as a herniated disc) following an accident or a cumulative injury (like carpal tunnel syndrome) caused by repetitive motion. Failing to give proper notice or file the required claim form may result in a denial of the employee’s request for benefits, so it is important that these steps be taken in a timely manner.Types of Benefits Available in a New York Workers’ Compensation Case
Often, an injured employee’s top priority in filing a workers’ compensation claim is to get medical treatment for an injury or illness resulting from their job. In order to see a doctor or another health care provider at the expense of the employer or its insurance company, the worker must comply with certain procedural requirements (such as the giving of notice and the filing of a claim), but the employee does not need to prove fault on the part of the employer. Unlike a traditional negligence lawsuit in which an injured person must prove that the defendant failed to use reasonable care, a workers’ compensation claim may be pursued even if nobody acted carelessly, as long as the injury happened in the course and scope of the worker’s employment.
In addition to medical expenses, a worker may be entitled to temporary or permanent disability benefits to replace part of their lost wages. At some point in a workers’ compensation case, it is possible that either the employee or the employer may propose a settlement of any remaining unpaid benefits through a lump sum settlement. The employer has an incentive to do this because it puts a finite figure on the claim, and, once the lump sum is paid, the claim is essentially over. There is no need for more administration costs, more legal fees, and so on. In some circumstances, an employee may wish to accept a lump sum settlement in lieu of receiving future medical care or disability benefits, but such an agreement is not always in the employee’s best interest. The lump sum figure may be less than the long-term benefits would have been (especially with regard to medical payments), and not everyone wants to undertake the burdens of managing a large one-time monetary payout.Speak to a Rockland County Lawyer Before Accepting a Lump Sum Settlement
If you have been injured at work, you need to understand your legal options. The best way to do this is to schedule an appointment to discuss your case with an injury attorney who understands New York’s workers’ compensation laws and regularly handles such cases. Rockland County attorney Valerie J. Crown offers a free consultation to employees injured in the Greater New York area, including in Orange, Dutchess, Ulster, and Westchester Counties. You can call us at 845-708-5900 or contact us online to set up your appointment. Workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so no money is required upfront to begin your case.