As we have discussed on our blog site on numerous occasions, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides somewhat limited remedies for people who have been injured at work. The limited nature of the remedy leads to what are sometimes surprisingly low settlement offers. Based upon these low offers, the injured worker should probably take several things into consideration before deciding to accept an offer.
The first thing the worker should take into consideration is whether he/she believes that a return to work is possible. Obviously, there is a broad range of injuries that can occur at work. Sometimes, they are quite minor and clearly will not affect any future employment. On the other end of the spectrum, obviously some injuries can be so severe that as a practical matter, no future employment will be possible. The employee must consider then whether the settlement is enough, considering the future employment potential. Obviously, if the worker has another job lined up already, then a smaller settlement amount may suffice.
Another thing the worker must take into account is the fact that they will have to resign. Very few employers will allow a workers’ compensation settlement without insisting on a resignation. Remember, though that a resignation is not just a surrendering of a position at the company. It is surrendering benefits as well. It is a good idea for the worker to consider all of the costs that will exist upon the resignation, such as health and dental insurance. The resignation will normally qualify the worker for COBRA coverage, but as anyone who has opted for this before will know, that can be extremely expensive. It is also limited in time span such that once the COBRA expires, the worker is left to seek other insurance if new employment with benefits has not been obtained. The resignation can also have great affects on a retirement plan.
Taking these factors under consideration are often steps that a worker is hesitant, or even unable, to take. The lawyers with Ramos & Law will help you think through all of the ramifications of your workers’ compensation claim. We can help connect you with financial planners and other professionals to get the best possible understanding of your financial status. Having all of the proper information can help ease a worker’s mind about settlement and what the future may hold.