Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Greeley
When you become injured or sick because of your job, you may suffer long-term physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Workers’ compensation insurance covers almost all Colorado employees, which can help ease these burdens. However, the process of getting this compensation may pose challenges.
All workers’ compensation settlements in Greeley are unique. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney could help you pursue a settlement that suits your needs and accounts for your losses.
Steps Toward a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Injured workers should have their accident and medical history carefully documented to ensure they qualify for the insurance benefits they need. In Colorado, workers must notify employers within four days of an accident or injuries manifesting from a job-related condition. The process of achieving a worker’s compensation settlement can involve:
- The employee filing a workers’ compensation claim
- The employer filing a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier
- The insurer denying or approving the claim
- The insurer offering compensation as a lump sum or structured settlement
- The employee accepting the offer or negotiating through a workers’ compensation lawyer for a more suitable settlement
- If negotiations break down, scheduling a hearing before an administrative judge
Insurers notoriously attempt to pay out as little as possible since they are in business to make a profit. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney could spearhead the settlement process and negotiations with insurers to allow injured workers in Greeley to focus on their recovery.
Recoverable Damages in a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Once someone accepts workers’ compensation benefits, they are generally barred from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. As such, a worker’s compensation settlement should adequately compensate an injured worker in Greeley for all their needs.
Settlements pay for accrued and future medical bills and lost wages if an employee cannot work or earn as much as before the injury. Settlements can also pay for work-related disabilities and specific impairing injuries, such as deafness from working around loud machinery. Settlements do not cover most non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, pain, and suffering, nor do they cover punitive damages for an employer’s egregious conduct.
Lump Sum vs. Structured Settlements
Settlements can be paid out in lump sum or structured payments. By accepting a full or lump sum payment, an injured employee agrees not to seek additional payment in the future from the employer or insurer. State law limits the lump sum amount a person can receive in a workers’ compensation settlement, so these settlements should consider the money the insurer would have paid if the claim had not been settled. Adequately negotiated, a lump sum of money may allow someone to steady their financial picture, retire, or fund something in the immediate future.
A structured settlement is one that is split into periodic payments over a fixed amount of time. Structured settlement payments are not taxable, but lump sum payments are. A Greeley attorney could help determine the ideal settlement structure for an injured worker’s circumstances.
Contact Us to Discuss Greeley Workers’ Compensation Settlements
When you are injured on the job, you deserve fair and prompt compensation for your losses. While the workers’ compensation system is set up to help you in times like these, it can be tricky to navigate these claims without legal help.
Our dedicated attorneys are skilled at navigating all aspects of workers’ compensation settlements in Greeley. We could assist with the initial claim and fight to get you the money you deserve after an injury in the workplace. Contact our office to get started.