You likely will ask many questions if you suffer an injury at work. One pressing concern is how you would receive your Workers’ Compensation benefits. Fortunately, Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation laws allow injured workers to decide whether a lump sum or weekly benefits is right for them. However, there are both positives and negatives with each decision.
Most work injuries can be recovered in a few weeks or months, allowing workers to return to work. However, that is not always the case, as some injuries are serious and can turn into long-term disability. The severity of the injury plays a significant role in deciding which option is best. Discussing your situation with a lawyer can help you decide.
Benefits of Lump-Sum Payments
A lump sum allows an injured worker to receive a single payment that covers future workers’ compensation payments, past-due payments, medical bills, and more. Some advantages to receiving a lump-sum payment include:
- Receiving the full amount of compensation up front instead of increments given out weekly or bi-weekly.
- You do not have to worry about future medical exams or investigations by the insurance company in their attempt to prove you can return to work.
- You do not have to fight the insurance company for your benefits.
- You can use the money how you see fit, including getting medical help the way you prefer instead of going to a designated doctor.
- Forgoes the complicated and sometimes frustrating Workers’ Compensation claims process.
Disadvantages of Lump-Sum Payments
However, accepting a lump-sum payment may not be beneficial to you in several ways:
- Your injury case is closed and, in most cases, permanent. Once it is closed, you will not be able to receive any more compensation for your injury.
- You will not receive any other benefits, even if your injury worsens or you experience complications related to your injury.
- Your settlement offer may be less than the amount you would have received if you accepted weekly payments.
- You must be more responsible with your money; weekly payments allow you to manage your money better.
- To accept a lump-sum settlement, the insurance company may require you to resign from your job so you cannot return to work and file another claim in the future.
It is important to remember that a judge must approve your lump-sum settlement before you can accept it. However, the judge is only required to ensure the injured worker understands the terms of the lump-sum settlement, not if the money is efficient enough to cover your bills or if the settlement is fair.
To ensure you receive the correct amount you are entitled to, you should consider discussing your claim with a lawyer before accepting any offer from the insurance company. If you decide a lump-sum settlement is right, you waive your rights to future benefits or claims. A lawyer can help you understand those rights, discuss your options, and help ensure you make the best decision for yourself.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for Workers With Injury Claims
The Workers’ Compensation process can be complicated. Going through the claim process alone may result in you not receiving enough compensation to cover your bills. Our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. are here to help. Call us at 888-999-1962 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina.