Understanding The Personal Injury Process

The Basics Of Workers' Compensation Settlement

If you have recently decided to file a workers' compensation claim, you might be wondering what happens if you agree to a settlement. Your workers' compensation lawyer might suggest that you consider a settlement in some cases. While most workers' compensation claims are pretty self-explanatory and come with consistent payments each week, a lump-sum workers' compensation settlement is different. Here's what you need to know about settling your workers' compensation case.

Do You Need An Attorney To Settle Your Claim?

An attorney isn't essential to approach the settlement table for your workers' compensation claim. You could participate in the settlement negotiations on your own. However, it's often in your best interest to retain the services of a workers' compensation attorney to represent you in the process.

Working with an attorney helps to ensure that your interests are considered. The workers' compensation insurance company is going to try to settle for as little as they can, so your attorney will need to fight for you to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your injury. An attorney will have more expertise and can negotiate more effectively for you than you could for yourself.

What Happens Once You Settle Your Claim?

If you reach a settlement with the workers' compensation insurance company, the settlement contract will go to the arbitrator first. The arbitrator will have to review and approve the settlement contract, then it will be given back to the attorney for the insurance company.

The attorney will send the workers' compensation insurance company an order to issue the payment. The insurance company will then process that order and cut a check for the settlement. 

The check will be made out to both you and your attorney. It will then be sent directly to your attorney's office. You will both have to endorse the check in order for it to be deposited. The attorney will deposit the check into a trust account where it must stay for a couple of weeks until it is confirmed that the funds have cleared the bank that the check was drawn on.

Once the funds have cleared the bank, your attorney will issue you a disbursement for your share of the settlement from the trust where the funds were deposited.

How Long Does The Insurance Company Have To Pay The Settlement?

You might wonder how long the whole process will take overall. In most cases, you'll receive your money within a month or two of the settlement. However, many states have no legal requirements for the insurance company to pay within a certain time.

Despite that, there can be legal ramifications if there are unnecessary delays. Your attorney can discuss this with you if the insurance company holds off on the payment for longer than necessary.