No one can force you or your insurance provider to settle your workers' compensation case. If you refuse a settlement, you can continue to collect any workers’ compensation payments you remain eligible to receive—and you could even collect these benefits indefinitely.
However, there may be some instances where it could be beneficial to settle a workers' compensation case.
Pros and Cons of Settling Your Workers’ Compensation Case
There's no set rule for calculating the amount you can receive in a workers’ compensation settlement. The total you're offered depends on the severity of your injuries, your ability to go back to work, your unpaid medical bills, and the amount of wages you earned before your accident. No matter how much is offered, a settlement should at least be enough to cover your future medical costs and disability relating to the injury.
So when should you consider accepting a settlement? It always depends on the individual facts of your case. For instance, settling may be a good option if you:
- Want to regain control of your medical treatment. Once your case is settled, you'll be able to treat your injury however you see fit. Rather than following worker’s compensation rules about choosing a doctor, you're free to see any doctor, choose your treatments, and generally have greater control over future medical care for your injury. Of course, you must be sure the amount of the settlement is enough to pay for any future surgeries, rehabilitation, or other care you may need.
- Don't want to go to trial. If any aspects of your claim are in dispute, these will likely be brought up during trial and can affect the amount of compensation you're awarded. Of course, there's always the risk of losing the case in a trial setting, making settlement an attractive option. If something in your case hurts your chances of winning at trial, you may opt for a settlement instead of taking the risk of losing all rights to payment.
On the other hand, there are always drawbacks to accepting a settlement. Some of the most common downsides of settling include:
- Leaving your current employment. Since settling a Florida workers' compensation case means the employee is giving up all rights to future medical care from the insurer, many workers are required to resign their current positions as part of the settlement. This mandate varies depending on the insurer’s and employer’s policies.
- Repaying other benefit providers. If a settlement is accepted, claimants may be asked to repay Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, or private health insurance for the portion these providers paid for medical care.
The best way to determine whether you should accept a settlement is to speak to a qualified Florida workers' compensation attorney. If you've been injured at work or are considering settling your claim, our legal team can explain potential options at no cost to you. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your free case evaluation.