Ohio workers who suffer workplace injuries while on the job and are eligible for workers' compensation benefits will sometimes need to decide whether they should accept a lump sum settlement. With a lump sum, the parties will settle the claim for a certain amount and this will conclude the case. For those who have suffered workplace injuries, it is important to have legal advice when deciding if a lump sum settlement is the preferable course of action.
The settlement applies to the past, present and future issues or liabilities the worker might suffer from. It can be beneficial to the worker as they will get the payment in full immediately. It also benefits the Bureau of Workers' Compensation in Ohio, as they can get an accurate gauge on premiums. The claim will be reviewed to understand the following: the benefits of such a settlement; if the claim is ready to be settled; and a value for the settlement.
The worker can get a partial or full settlement. With a partial settlement, the case will be settled based on certain conditions, compensation and benefits. Once a partial settlement is completed, there will still be what is known as a "reserve." This means that there is an estimated value that will decide how much the employer must pay for a premium in the future. When there is a full settlement, the reserve will not be an issue and all factors in the case will be settled.
An employee can use a lump sum settlement to manage the treatment as it suits them. They should make sure that the settlement covers: medical expenses; lost time at work and work restrictions; the current and future benefits; and who is responsible for managing the money that is earmarked for medical treatment the person might need in the future.
When there is a lump sum settlement, there will be a 30-day waiting period during which the parties can withdraw from the agreement. The Industrial Commission of Ohio can nullify the agreement if it believes that it is unjust. The payment will be made once the settlement is finalized. There are a variety of reasons why a lump sum settlement might be beneficial to an injured worker. Before accepting a settlement, however, it is imperative to have legal advice as to whether it is a wise decision. A lawyer experienced in workers' compensation cases can provide that advice.
Source: bwc.ohio.gov, "Lump Sum Settlements," accessed on Jan. 29, 2018