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When Will Workers’ Comp Offer a Settlement?

construction workers filing a workers comp claim

Workers’ compensation provides free medical care and pays weekly disability payments to injured workers. However, your employer’s insurance company may offer to replace these benefits with a single lump sum payment. Workers’ compensation settlements are often the best option, but you should be wary of any settlement offer the insurer makes, especially if you receive it shortly after reporting your injury. Insurers typically offer to settle so they can pay less.

If you accept a settlement too early, it may not be enough to cover unanticipated medical complications. No matter what they tell you, insurance companies don’t work to serve your best interests but their own. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys have your interests at heart. We can determine the right time to consider a settlement and negotiate the amount you deserve.

How Quickly Can Workers' Comp Offer a Settlement?

A workers’ compensation insurance company can offer a settlement any time after your injury. The most common time for a settlement offer is after you reach your maximum medical improvement. This occurs when your doctor determines you have recovered to the fullest extent possible. Any disabilities you still have because of your injury will be considered permanent.

Even after reaching your maximum medical improvement, you may experience medical complications you cannot anticipate. Don’t try to figure out the possible future costs on your own. We have more than 45 years of experience helping injured workers negotiate workers’ compensation settlements, and we still consult financial and medical experts to help us anticipate these costs.

You can count on us to consider every possibility and ensure your settlement provides the support you need for as long as you need it. Contact us now for a free consultation.

The Workers’ Compensation Settlement Process

The insurance company may initiate the settlement process by making an offer. You also have a right to initiate settlement negotiations. Our attorneys can contact your insurer directly and propose a settlement on your behalf. Once the insurer receives the offer, the insurer could deny, accept, or make a counteroffer.

If the insurance company refuses to settle for the amount you deserve, we’re prepared to file a workers’ compensation claim with the appropriate agency in your state. Our workers’ compensation law firm consists of numerous successful trial lawyers who know what it takes to win in court. Due to our track record and reputation, most insurers would rather settle than go against us in a trial.

The process of finalizing a workers’ compensation settlement varies from state to state. Whether you’re in Georgia or Florida, we have the knowledge and experience to handle all the legalities so you can focus on recovery with full assurance that your case is in capable hands.

Florida Workers’ Compensation Settlements

The rules for settling a workers’ compensation claim in Florida vary based on whether an attorney represents you. If you don’t have an attorney, you must file a petition with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims jointly with your insurer, employer, and any other interested party.

As an unrepresented individual, you’re only eligible to file a petition for a settlement if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • The insurer has denied your claim within 120 days of your injury report.
  • You have reached your maximum medical improvement.

Insurance companies only care about their bottom line. The insurer will likely only agree to a settlement to save money. A judge must approve the settlement, and the judge may deny or reduce your settlement if the judge determines the amount is excessive.

With a workers’ compensation attorney on your side, these restrictions don’t apply. Your attorney can negotiate your settlement regardless of whether your claim was denied or you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement. A settlement does not require a judge’s approval. Your attorney will only have to petition for approval of any legal fees.

Georgia Workers’ Compensation Settlements

Georgia law makes no distinction between represented and unrepresented workers’ compensation claimants. Georgia Code § 34-9-15 authorizes the insurer to settle a claim with you without involving the employer. If you and the insurer reach a settlement agreement, the employer must file a copy of the agreement with the Board of Workers’ Compensation for approval.

The board must approve the settlement if you and the insurer agree, even if the lump sum is lower than what you would be entitled to with continued weekly disability payments. The board can require the settlement to be prorated throughout your lifetime.

After the board approves your settlement, the terms are final and cannot be changed, even if you experience unanticipated medical complications later. Our workers’ compensation lawyers have negotiated thousands of settlements for injured workers, and we can anticipate unexpected expenses and ensure you get a fair deal.

How Long After a Settlement Will I Get My Compensation?

In Florida, the workers’ compensation insurer must issue your payment within 14 days after the judge of compensation claims mails the order approving the attorney’s fee. In Georgia, the insurer must send your payment within 20 days after your settlement is approved. If the insurer pays late, the Board of Workers’ Compensation can assess a 20 percent penalty against the insurer.

What Factors Impact My Workers’ Compensation Settlement Amount?

The amount of your workers’ compensation settlement will vary based on the following factors:

  • The length of time you’ll be disabled
  • Whether you’ll be able to perform any type of work
  • The lifetime cost of your medical care
  • Your average weekly earnings before the accident
  • Your attorney’s experience and skill

We independently evaluate each case because we know each case has unique circumstances. We’re committed to pursuing the maximum settlement possible. We’ll fight for you like family. We won’t take the easy way out and settle for less. Instead, we prepare every case as if it will go to court. Call us today at (877) 245-6707 for a free case evaluation.

When Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

You should only accept a settlement offer on the advice of a reputable attorney who has reviewed your case. In most cases, you must achieve your maximum medical improvement before an attorney can determine whether a settlement is fair.

Should I Hire an Attorney for a Workers’ Comp Settlement?

Always hire an attorney to negotiate a workers’ comp settlement for you. Our dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers at Farah & Farah thoroughly understand all the elements that go into a settlement. Insurance companies have vast experience settling claims. They’ll have lawyers and other experienced professionals working for them, giving them a considerable disadvantage. Hiring a capable attorney levels the playing field.

The insurance company doesn’t want you to hire a lawyer. It will try to convince you that its lowball offer is generous. The insurer and employer will look for excuses to deny benefits or manipulate you into accepting its lowball offer.

With our knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers on your side, the insurance company will take your claim seriously. We can turn the tables on stingy insurance companies. Don’t let an insurance company convince you that you deserve less.

Our Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers Are Ready To Fight for You

If you’ve been injured on the job, you have a right to demand fair compensation for your injuries. We’ve recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements, and we cannot be intimidated by an insurance company or employer of any size or status. Our results are no accident. Experience makes all the difference. We charge no upfront fees, and you pay nothing unless we win. Call us today at (877) 245-6707 and put our experience to work for you.

Workers Comp Settlement FAQs

Are Workers’ Comp Settlements Taxable?

Workers’ compensation benefits are generally tax-exempt. However, there is an exception if you also receive Social Security. If the combined benefits exceed a certain threshold, your Social Security benefit will be “offset” or reduced. The IRS may treat that portion as taxable income.

What Happens if I Don’t Settle My Claim?

If your claim doesn’t settle, your benefit status will remain unchanged. If you were already receiving medical care and weekly disability payments, these will continue at the same rate for the period specified by the insurer and state law. If the insurer has denied your claim, the denial will remain in place unless you file a petition in the appropriate forum in your state.

You can file a workers’ compensation claim to contest a denial or the amount of your monthly benefit, but every state has a time limit, known as a statute of limitations, for filing workers’ compensation claims. The Florida workers’ compensation statute of limitations is two years from the date you report your injury or one year after you receive a denial of benefits. The Georgia statute of limitations for workers’ compensation is one year from the date you report your injury, as shown in the table below.

State Statute of Limitations Where To File Claims
Florida 2 years from the date you reported your injury or 1 year after your claim was denied The Office of Judges of Workers’ Compensation
Georgia 1 year from the date you reported your injury The State Board of Workers’ Compensation

Can I Be Fired for Pursuing a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?

Federal and state anti-retaliation laws generally protect workers from being fired for filing workers’ compensation claims or otherwise exercising their legal rights. However, employers are generally not required to keep your position open while you are on leave.

If you believe your employer has wrongfully terminated you in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.

What Should I Do if My Case Is Taking Too Long?

Don’t be surprised if your employer or the insurance company uses stall tactics to avoid paying you a fair settlement. The insurance company likely hopes to run down the clock on the statute of limitations.

If this tactic is successful, you’ll lose your right to file a claim, and the insurer will have no incentive to settle. You’ve already lost too much because of a workplace injury. You don’t deserve to lose out on your compensation too. In order to prevent or address stall tactics, take the following steps into consideration:

  • Legal timeframes: Familiarize yourself with the statute of limitations pertaining to your case so that you can effectively manage your case’s timeline.
  • Following up: Approaching your case proactively can help expedite the process. Check the status of your claim regularly and follow up with the insurance company promptly to reduce opportunities for the insurance company to delay your case.
  • Documentation: Keep documentation of any interactions with your employer or the insurance company. Record-keeping helps hold them accountable for stalling and discourages future attempts. Documentation includes letters, emails, any actions you take, as well as records of call times and call content.
  • Hire an attorney: If you’re having difficulty navigating timelines with your employer or the insurance company, consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer from Farah and Farah. Our legal advocates can assist in pressing your case forward.

Get Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Case Today

Our workers compensation lawyers have the experience, dedication, and knowledge necessary to effectively represent your workers’ compensation claim. Don’t let employers or insurance companies take advantage of your situation and secure the settlement you rightfully deserve. Take action and give our attorneys a call at (877) 245-6707 or schedule a free consultation using our online form.

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