Disagreements over liability for a workplace injury can be long and tense situations. Employers traditionally do not want to admit wrongdoing. They will fight tooth and nail to avoid fault. Injured employees involved in benefit claim disputes have rights and are entitled to legal help.
If you or a loved one are seeking to settle a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you should speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer at The Hammers Firm. Our trusted team of attorneys has experience successfully navigating workers’ compensation settlements in Sandy Springs.
There are positives and negatives to settling a workers’ comp benefits claim in Sandy Springs. You should work with your legal counsel to determine if a settlement is the best course to pursue, considering your disability and your likelihood of returning to work.
Employees with a permanent disability may find accommodation more beneficial because it can provide adequate funds as they apply for Social Security disability. Furthermore, a laborer who was injured in a workplace accident, decreasing their life expectancy, could settle to ensure they have a lump sum—or prorated benefits—payment for themselves and their loved ones. If a worker has looming financial debt related to the injury, a settlement could be a more immediate way to satisfy what is owed.
The biggest downside of workers’ compensation settlements is that there are many unknowns. You could potentially receive less benefits in the long run compared to the nature of your injury. Also, the negotiations could end up prolonging the liability dispute.
However, all in all, settlements can be very productive and give injured workers peace of mind. Contact our team at The Hammers Firm today to schedule an initial consultation. One of our knowledgeable legal professionals could review your case and advise on whether you should consider settling your claim.
Getting ready for a benefits settlement conference requires thorough preparation, such as gathering all essential documents. But, by far, the most important factor to consider is what negotiation strategy will be employed to obtain your desired result. Even though the company has agreed to meet to discuss a potential settlement, their goal is to pay you as little as possible. Before the settlement meeting, you should also prepare by creating a list of:
After creating this list, you should reflect on your specific goals. Settlement meetings can be adversarial because the employer will likely have their legal professional in attendance. To increase your odds of an advantageous settlement agreement, retain the services of a well-practiced workers’ compensation attorney in Sandy Springs.
Georgia law requires employees and employers in worker compensation benefit disputes to follow a specific procedure for settling such issues (Georgia Code § 34-9-15). Specifically, settlement negotiations cannot begin until after the employee has received 26 weeks of benefit payments.
The board, for the most part, leaves it up to the employer and employee to create the conditions of their contract. But, if one party wants to mandate the agreement include a term that any prorate lump sum be split into payments through the anticipated duration of the worker’s life, the other party cannot refuse.
Enforcing this procedure is the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Settlement Division. Before the disbursement of injury payments, the board will review the agreement and check with the parties to ensure there is no genuine dispute regarding liability before approving any settlement. Also, the business’s insurer for worker compensation payments shall provide notice to the employer to ensure the agreement’s provisions are the true intent of all involved parties.
If an employer does not send the employee the first benefit payment per the arrangement within 20 days, they must provide an additional 20 percent when the check is sent. However, this penalty can be waived if the employer can prove that the non-payment issue was beyond their control.
For more information, an injured worker seeking to settle their workers’ compensation claim should contact a lawyer at our Sandy Springs office.
If you want a fierce advocate in your corner, call The Hammers Firm today to speak with one of our dedicated attorneys about your claim. Our team is skilled at negotiating workers’ compensation settlements in Sandy Springs and could fight for the fair payments you need and deserve.