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Can a Workers’ Compensation Settlement Be Paid in a Lump Sum

Per the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), you can request your workers’ compensation settlement to be paid as a lump sum. However, you must assert that you have a financial need or hardship that necessitates such a payment. Whether this is the right choice in your case depends greatly on the circumstances.

If the insurer offers you a settlement or you have questions, a workers’ compensation lawyer can explain your legal options. Your attorney can review your case and offer advice and guidance. They can even handle settlement negotiations if you decide to pursue an all-at-once payment.

What Is a Lump Sum Settlement in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Workers generally receive weekly or biweekly payments for their workers’ compensation income loss benefits. These are known as temporary disability payments or permanent disability payments in California. They are a portion of the individual’s full wages earned from working before their injuries occurred.

When an insurance company offers a settlement, it wants to pay a one-time, lump sum payout instead of continuing these regular payments. An insurer would only propose this option because it hopes to save money in the long run. There really is no other advantage.

There are pros and cons to settling your case, and which works best for you will depend on your unique circumstances. Your attorney can offer advice on settling your wage loss benefits, medical care coverage, or the entire claim.

What Is the Role of an Attorney in a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?

There are several reasons why you may want to have a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney handling your claim if you decide to negotiate for a lump sum settlement. They will protect your rights, fight for maximum compensation, and ensure you understand the risks and rewards with each choice you make.

It is difficult to know how much your case might be worth unless you look at these claims regularly and understand the applicable laws. While most injured workers do not know where to start with valuing a claim, workers’ compensation attorneys have the skills and experience to apply a fair settlement range. This helps ensure their clients get the money the insurer owes them.

Taking a lump sum cash settlement means giving up some of your rights under California workers’ compensation laws. Any time you consider waiving your rights, it pays to be careful. Your attorney will help you weigh your options and determine your next steps for moving forward. They can also negotiate with the liable party for what you need.

What Benefits Are Available in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Before you know how much your workers’ compensation case might be worth in a lump sum settlement, you should know the benefits available. Injured workers who miss work usually receive at least two types of compensation during their ordeal––reimbursement for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages. Some receive additional payments or benefits.

According to “Workers’ Compensation in California: A Guidebook for Injured Workers,” the benefits available in California workers’ compensation claims include:

Medical Expenses

Your workers’ compensation benefits should cover your related medical bills. If you require additional treatment, a lump sum payment could include future treatment expenses, too.

Income Loss Payments

The most important part of workers’ compensation for many injured employees is the wage loss benefits. These include either temporary or permanent disability benefits. These benefits cover a portion of the wages you would earn if you could work. They often comprise the greatest part of a lump sum settlement.

Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits

Some injured workers require extensive rehabilitation to return to their jobs or find new careers. Retraining or learning new skills might be a part of this process. Workers’ compensation insurers offer vouchers to cover some of the related expenses.

Death Benefits

When a worker dies from their on-the-job injuries, their survivors receive a one-time death benefit through the workers’ compensation insurance company.

Pros and Cons of a Workers’ Compensation Lump Sum Settlement

There are pros and cons to negotiating a lump sum settlement. Your attorney can offer specific examples based on your case’s facts. In general, some of the advantages and disadvantages include:

  • You receive the money now instead of over the next several years.
  • You could cover your current expenses better.
  • This will end the ongoing worry about your financial standing.
  • You will no longer have to worry if the insurer terminates your benefits.
  • There will be no more required examinations or other check-ins on your health and disability status.

Some disadvantages include:

  • The insurer may not offer enough money to compensate you fairly.
  • You could have expensive medical and care needs in the future with no option for asking for additional coverage.
  • You cannot get additional payments for complications that arise.
  • You may not budget the money properly and have bills left over after the money runs out.

What Should I Do if the Workers’ Compensation Insurer Offers a Settlement?

You should consider hiring a workers compensation attorney Los Angeles if the insurer offers less than you need. You don’t want to hastily accept an offer only to be left with out-of-pocket expenses. Your attorney can determine the cost of your losses and negotiate a fair payout.

The value of a lump sum payment depends on many factors. These factors include:

  • Your injuries and lasting effects
  • Your lost wages, which depend on your previous pay and other factors
  • Whether new disabilities prevent you from returning to your job
  • Whether you can work any job
  • The cost of your medical treatment and ongoing care

Your attorney will likely contact the insurer on your behalf and reject its initial offer. However, they can begin settlement negotiations if you decide this is your best option. Your lawyer will ensure your lump sum payout is fair before encouraging you to sign an agreement.

Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Team Member From Our Firm

You can discuss your workplace injury with a team member from KJT Law Group for free today. Our lawyers offer no-obligation case consultations for injured workers. We can help you understand your options. Contact us by calling (818) 507-8525.

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