Lump Sum Settlements
Most North Carolina workers’ compensation claims conclude with a lump sum settlement. There are many factors to consider before settling your claim. Once your claim is settled, you are responsible for any future medical treatment you may need for your injury and for any lost wages resulting from your injury. Your employer and its insurance company do not owe you any workers’ compensation benefits after you settle your claim.
Our experienced board certified workers’ compensation specialist can analyze your claim and help you determine if it is the appropriate time to settle your claim. One of the most important roles an attorney will play in a workers’ compensation claim is to help you value your claim. Future medical treatment and future entitlement to disability compensation are usually the two components considered when negotiating a settlement, although other factors may also be present depending on the unique circumstances of each case.
Our workers’ compensation attorney has negotiated hundreds of workers’ compensation settlements. We can help you evaluate how much your claim may be worth. We can then aggressively negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement offer.
You do not pay any attorney fees upfront for us to negotiate a settlement to your claim. Instead, our attorney fee is 25% of your settlement amount. You may be unsure whether you want 25% of your settlement to go towards the attorney fee. Hiring an attorney can often result in you receiving a larger settlement than you would have been offered as an unrepresented claimant. The insurance carrier will likely offer you a low settlement amount that does not fairly reflect what your case is worth. The insurance carrier likely will not reveal or offer you their full settlement authority. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you negotiate a more beneficial settlement.Unpaid Medical Bills:
You may have unpaid medical bills at the time of settlement. Unpaid medical bills are often an issue in the settlement of denied claims. Industrial Commission Rules mandate that unpaid bills be accounted for in the settlement of your claim. We can help you navigate the issue of unpaid medical bills as part of the settlement of your claim.Liens:
There are many types of liens that may be present in your workers’ compensation case. These liens need to be taken into consideration when settling your claim. There may be a health insurance lien, Medicare, or Medicaid lien for medical bills they paid in your claim. A state child support agency also may have asserted a lien against settlement proceeds in your workers’ compensation claim for any child support payments you owe.
You may have filed a claim against a third party who was responsible for the injury that is the subject of your workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation carrier has a lien against any proceeds you receive from your third-party claim. This lien can often be resolved as part of the settlement of your workers’ compensation claim in a way that ensures you receive a maximum recovery from all of your claims.
There are specific statutes governing these various types of liens. It is important that these liens be negotiated, if possible, and accounted for as part of the settlement of your workers’ compensation claim. Otherwise, you may be responsible for satisfying these liens.Medicare Issues:
Medicare does not want to be responsible for medical treatment related to a work injury. Medicare wants its interest to be considered as part of the settlement of any workers’ compensation claim. Medicare’s interest includes past medical bills it has paid for your work injury as well as future treatment you will need for your injury. Depending on your age and the settlement amount, a portion of the settlement may have to be set aside to pay for future treatment. Failure to consider Medicare’s interest in the settlement of your workers’ compensation claim may result in the denial of future Medicare benefits.
An experienced worker’s compensation attorney can help you determine if your case is postured for settlement. If settlement makes sense in your claim, our board certified workers’ compensation specialist can help you calculate the value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company. Please contact us to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.