Every day, many people working throughout all industries in North Carolina experience injuries at work. Some of these incidents occur through no fault of any party in particular, while others occur because of horseplay, negligence, or failure to adhere to workplace safety regulations. When a workplace injury occurs in North Carolina, state law requires virtually every employer to have workers’ compensation insurance, enabling injured employees to file claims for coverage if they’re injured on the job.
The workers’ compensation claim process may seem straightforward initially, but many people encounter various unexpected problems with their claims and need legal counsel they can trust to secure fair compensation. When an insurance company receives a claim for coverage, they are legally required to investigate the claim’s validity and process it in good faith. A lump-sum settlement offer could come into play if the insurance company deems it preferable to an ongoing benefits arrangement with a claimant.
Do not be tempted to accept a large lump-sum settlement offer from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier until you speak with an attorney. A Monroe lump-sum settlement attorney can review the insurance carrier’s offer and help you determine whether it suitably compensates your losses. In addition, you may have more options for resolving a workplace injury than you initially expected, so it’s vital to consult an experienced Monroe lump-sum settlement attorney to ensure you reach the best possible outcome for your workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina.
You can approach this difficult situation more confidently when you have legal counsel you can trust to assist you with a workers’ compensation claim. Your legal team can guide you through the claim process, ensuring all claim paperwork is filled out correctly and all supporting documentation finds its way to the insurance carrier for consideration. In addition, your attorney should provide a rough estimate of how long it will take you to receive a benefits determination.
Your Monroe lump-sum settlement attorney will be invaluable if you encounter any unforeseen issues with your claim. For example, if your claim is denied on procedural grounds, your attorney may cite the errors in the insurance company’s processing of your claim to resolve this issue. They may also negotiate on your behalf if the insurance company offers a lowball benefits determination or a lump-sum settlement offer that allows them to avoid long-term liability for your workers’ compensation benefits.
Ultimately, the best advantage of hiring a Monroe lump-sum settlement attorney is the peace of mind of knowing you have a dedicated legal advocate striving to help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Additionally, if you receive a questionable lump-sum offer from an insurance company, our team has the experience to run the numbers on your benefits and determine which option would most benefit your long-term needs. Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has extensive professional experience handling difficult personal injury claims on behalf of clients in the Monroe, NC, area. We can leverage this experience on your behalf to secure a fair benefits determination for your workplace injury.
When you file your claim for workers’ compensation, you can typically expect to receive two forms of compensation from the insurance company if it approves your claim. First, they will cover all the medical expenses pertaining to healing your injury and managing your symptoms until they subside. You have the right to expect coverage for any ongoing care if you sustained a serious injury with long-term effects. The second form of compensation is disability benefits, awarded to claimants who must spend time out of work while they recover from their workplace injuries.
When a workers’ compensation claim involves ongoing disability benefits, North Carolina clients can potentially receive disability benefits in several forms. First, the insurance company will decide to issue total disability benefits or partial disability benefits based on the seriousness of the claimant’s injury. Partial disability benefits are awarded to claimants who can still work after their injuries but cannot earn as much as they did before their injuries. Total disability benefits are paid to claimants who cannot work until they recover. Total disability benefits are typically paid at two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wage.
Most ongoing benefits determinations include provisions for when benefits end. In most cases, a workers’ compensation claimant will stop receiving benefits once they are medically able to return to work. However, some are left permanently disabled by their workplace injuries. An ongoing benefits arrangement is generally preferable in these circumstances. Still, some claimants mistakenly accept lump-sum settlement offers that, despite their perceived initial value, tend to yield less overall compensation than an ongoing benefits payment plan.
While most workers’ compensation claimants can expect medical expense coverage and disability benefits, some insurance carriers try to avoid ongoing long-term benefit payment plans whenever possible. As a result, a lump-sum settlement offer will likely come into play if the workers’ compensation insurance carrier believes the offer could coerce the claimant into taking the money and closing their workers’ compensation claim.
If you accept a lump-sum settlement offer from a workers’ compensation insurance carrier, you will not be able to revisit the issue later and seek more compensation for the same injury. Therefore, you must think carefully about accepting the lump-sum offer or continuing with your workers’ compensation benefits for as long as they last. While rare, a lump-sum settlement can suit a claimant’s interests more than an ongoing benefits arrangement. However, the large initial sum is typically much less than the claimant would receive in total for the duration of an ongoing benefits arrangement.
When you select Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim in Monroe, NC, you can expect personalized legal counsel through every phase of your case until you reach a suitable conclusion. We understand the stress and uncertainty facing those injured at work, and large lump-sum settlement offers can be deceptively attractive to some claimants. Our team can provide the experienced legal counsel and measured guidance you must have to confidently approach your claim. In addition, our team will help you understand your best possible responses if you receive an unfair lump-sum settlement offer.
A: Insurance companies have no incentive to pay out maximum claim settlements and generally look for all the ways they can find to reduce their financial liability to a claimant. In the event that an insurance company offers a large lump-sum settlement to settle your workers’ compensation claim, this is a strong indication that your claim is worth more. Consult your attorney to determine the best way to address any lump-sum settlement offers you receive for your workplace injury.
A: State law requires all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, and workers’ compensation typically prevents claimants from filing civil claims against their employers for injuries sustained at work. However, if your employer does not have workers’ compensation as state law requires, they face full civil liability for all your damages, and you could file a personal injury claim against them.
A: The workers’ compensation claim process unfolds differently for every claimant. Your Monroe lump-sum settlement attorney will likely be able to offer a reasonable estimate of the time your case will require to complete. Some claimants can secure settlement offers within a few weeks of filing, while other cases take much longer to resolve.
A: If you suffered a catastrophic workplace injury resulting in a permanent disability, you could technically qualify for “permanent” workers’ compensation benefits. However, this is a misnomer as there is almost always a time restriction for workers’ compensation benefits, even when claimants have suffered permanent damage. In addition, many workers’ compensation insurance carriers use lump-sum settlement offers to entice claimants away from longer-lasting and more expansive benefits packages.
A: Navigating your legal proceedings after a workplace injury in North Carolina can be overwhelming. It is easy to feel lost and daunted in the face of the various procedural issues you must address with your workers’ compensation claim. Hiring an experienced Monroe lump-sum settlement attorney means you will be fully prepared to address any questionable settlement offers you receive from the insurer and any other unforeseen variables in your case.
The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have successfully represented many past clients in the Monroe, NC, area in complex workers’ compensation claims. We know the tactics that local insurance carriers use to try to minimize their financial liabilities to claimants. If you are worried about facing unfair treatment from an insurance carrier, or if you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim for a severe injury and want to ensure you receive a fair settlement, we can help. Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today to schedule your consultation with a team of attorneys you can trust with your case.
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