Should I Settle My Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The workers’ compensation claim process can be tedious and often time-consuming. Some injured workers believe it is in their best interest to settle their workers’ compensation claims instead of going through the hearing process. This article will provide some information to help you decide whether or not you should attempt to settle your workers’ compensation claim outside of court.
What are some advantages of settling a workers’ compensation claim?
There are some potential advantages to settling a workers’ compensation case, which includes some of the following:
- One of the biggest advantages to settling a workers’ compensation claim is that a settlement removes the uncertainty that comes with a hearing. This is especially true if the nature, extent, or cause of your injuries is in question.
- If you agree to a settlement award, you will typically receive one lump-sum payment instead of the weekly payments you would be entitled to under the workers’ compensation claim process. This could be particularly helpful if you need compensation for medical treatment for your injuries right away.
- You can request the insurance company to pay for a portion of any future medical treatment. If for whatever reason you do not end up needing the money for that specific purpose, the money is still yours to keep as part of the settlement.
- Settling the claim could bring you an overall peace of mind by saving you a lot of time and energy.
What are some considerations I should make before I choose to settle?
There are a few notable considerations you should make before deciding to settle your workers’ compensation claim:
- If you choose to settle your case, you will also waive your right to a workers’ compensation hearing in the future. This means that if you are dissatisfied with the amount of your settlement, you will not be able to later reopen the case and take it to court. Once you sign the settlement contract, the terms of the settlement are final and binding.
- If, as part of the terms of your settlement, you close out your medical rights, you cannot later reopen your case in order to get future medical treatment covered, except in very rare cases.
- Illinois law indicates that an individual can reopen his workers’ compensation case if his condition worsens due to the work-related injury, so long as he does so within 30 months of the date the settlement was approved. However, many settlement contracts include a waiver of your right to reopen your case for this purpose. If you waive this right in your settlement agreement, this means that you cannot reopen the case, regardless of how much your condition worsens.
Are You Unsure About Whether You Should Settle Your Workers’ Compensation Claim? Contact Our Firm
If you are having a difficult time deciding whether you should settle your workers’ compensation claim, our firm can help. The experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at Connolly Injury Law will explain the potential advantages and disadvantages of settling your claim and will answer any questions you have about the process. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.