If you've been injured on the job in Georgia, you may be wondering if you should settle your workers' compensation case. Settling your case means that you will receive compensation quickly, but you will not be able to request more money if your condition gets worse later on. Depending on the facts of your case, it may not be wise to accept a settlement until you've reached maximum medical improvement.
How Workers' Compensation Settlements Work in Georgia
In Georgia, the State Board of Workers' Compensation must approve all workers' comp settlements. You can change your mind about settling at any time before the settlement is approved by the Board.
Once a settlement is approved, it is final and binding. If you do not settle your case and it goes to a hearing before an administrative law judge, the judge may award you more money than what was offered in the settlement, but there is also a risk that you may end up with less money.
Factors That Affect How Much You Receive in a Settlement
How much you receive in a settlement depends on factors such as the severity of your condition, the amount of your earnings prior to your accident, whether there is conflicting evidence, and if you are able to return to work.
- If you have very serious injuries that will leave you permanently disabled, you will likely be entitled to more money than someone with less severe injuries.
- If there are conflicting medical opinions about the extent of your injuries, the insurance company may offer you less money because they are not sure how much money they will have to pay out in the end.
- If you are unable to return to work, you may be able to collect temporary total disability benefits equaling two-thirds of your average weekly pay before taxes. These benefits are normally available for up to 400 weeks, but you could collect for the rest of your life if your claim has been deemed catastrophic.
Most workers’ compensation settlements are paid in a lump sum, but the insurance company might agree to a structured settlement. This type of settlement is most often used when a worker has permanently disabling injuries that require long-term care. Instead of a single lump sum payment, it provides payments monthly, annually, or every few years.
Rechtman & Spevak Fights for Injured Georgia Workers Like You
The Georgia workers' compensation attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak help workers hurt in on-the-job accidents collect the largest possible settlements given the circumstances involved in their case. Contact our Atlanta law office today by filling out our online form or call 404-355-2688 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.