Closing Your Work Comp File: Is This a Good Idea?

comp fileIt is very rarely a good idea for an injured worker to accept a lump sum final settlement without consulting an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. At Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP there is no fee for consultation regarding this issue.

What needs to be understood is that final lump sum cash settlements are, in the great majority of circumstances, conditioned upon the fact that your file will be closed in its entirety, forever.

Such a settlement will close out your rights to future medical benefits. It will close out your rights to obtain more weekly pay should your condition worsen in the future. Be aware that different types of injuries are evaluated differently. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may be entitled to loss of earning capacity as opposed to simply an impairment rating from a doctor. An injured worker can suffer a loss of earning capacity even where there has been little or no lost wages.

  • Are you comfortable that the condition resulting from your injury has stabilized so that it is unlikely that future medical care will ever be required again?
  • Do you know the potential adverse ramifications of how the proposed settlement will affect Social Security Disability, Medicare, or Title XIX?
  • Does the proposed settlement include sufficient sums to cover anticipated future medical expenses?
  • If your injury or condition is aggravated in the future, will that be covered?

All of the above factors need to be taken into consideration.

The problem is that injured workers are not experienced with these issues, nor are they even aware of them. Other than the time it takes to participate in a free consultation, you have nothing to lose by consulting with an attorney in this field. Otherwise, you are dealing with a workers’ compensation insurance company who employs people that are well versed in all these matters. Those people are under no obligation to lay out each and every pro and con to a proposed final closed settlement.

If you have questions about your Iowa Worker’s Compensation case, contact Walt Thomas at Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLC at (712) 325-9000 to set up a consultation either in person, or over the telephone. 

 

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