Injured employees in Michigan can opt to exchange the value of their future workers’ comp benefits in exchange for a lump sum settlement. However, does this always benefit the worker?
Jay Trucks explains more about workers’ comp settlements for those who are considering this legal option after being injured on the job.
Suffer a work-related injury? Our Flint workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to help you seek a workers’ comp claim or a cash settlement. Call our law offices anytime, night or day, to schedule a free case review to discuss your potential legal options.
Workers’ Comp Settlement Versus Receiving Benefits
In Michigan, like most states, injured employees may be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits following a job-related injury. Benefits the employers’ workers’ comp insurance carrier must pay includes:
- Costs for all medical care related to the occupational injury or illness
- Wage loss benefits amounting to 80 percent of weekly earnings – after taxes – for the highest wages earned 39 weeks prior to the date of the injury or illness
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
Alternatively, injured employees may choose to accept a lump-sum settlement in lieu of receiving regular workers’ compensation benefits. A lump-sum workers’ comp settlement will include a calculated value for the benefits you were expected to receive. This calculation takes many factors into consideration, such as the severity of your injuries, prognosis for recovery and when you may be able to return to work.
In Michigan, workers can pursue a lump-sum settlement as soon as six months following a work-related injury. However, in many cases, that may be too soon. Attorneys recommend waiting until you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI) to help ensure your settlement is sufficient to help you in your recovery.
Benefits and Risks
There are both benefits and risks if you choose to settle a workers’ comp claim instead of receiving ongoing benefits while you recover.
Benefits to Workers
Injured employees who choose to settle their workers’ comp claims in a lump-sum cash payment may benefit from:
- Lump-sum settlements that are tax-free
- The ability to choose their own path for medical care
- Not being subject to independent medical exams
- Avoiding being harassed by the insurers
- Using the money to obtain vocational retraining, medical costs, transitioning to a new job and more
- Accepting another job without worrying about losing benefits
- Moving forward with your life
Risks of Taking a Settlement
If you choose a settlement over weekly workers’ comp benefits, however, there are also some risks to consider before making your decision:
- If you seek a lump-sum payment before reaching your MMI you could end up with a settlement that is too low.
- You give up the right to receive any additional benefits in exchange for accepting a one-time cash settlement.
Not sure which option will best suit your needs? Schedule a free initial consultation with one of our qualified attorneys to discuss your situation and learn more about workers’ comp settlements.
How is a Settlement Amount Calculated?
A workers’ comp settlement should take into consideration the value of the benefits you expected to receive. That calculation includes a combination of the following types of benefits/compensation:
- Current medical costs
- Future expected medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished or lost future earnings
However, before your settlement can be accurately calculated, you will need to understand all the contributing factors that impact the value of your potential settlement. We strongly recommend that you do not agree to a settlement amount without first speaking with an attorney.
Having an experienced attorney who understands your medical needs – as well as the legal issues - can make a difference in your settlement outcome. Those who hire an attorney to represent their interests often achieve larger settlements than those who do not.
Our Trusted Lawyers Are Here to Help
Making the choice of a workers’ comp settlement over regular benefits is a difficult decision. Having input from a knowledgeable attorney who has an in-depth understanding of the law and how to protect your best interests may benefit your claim.
Jay Trucks has been representing the injured in Michigan for decades. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, including a $1,148,320 workers’ comp settlement for an injured floor installer. We are prepared to help you obtain a maximum settlement for the injuries you suffered at work.
Contact our firm 24/7 to schedule a free case review. There is no obligation to hire our services, but if we do represent you, there is nothing to pay up front. We collect no payment until the case concludes and only when we recover compensation for you.
Free Case Review. (800) 762-8623