If you have suffered a serious work injury, your employer's workers' compensation insurance company may offer you a settlement at some point in the process. Before you accept any settlement offer from the insurance company, you should talk to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer.
At Spooner & Perkins, P.C., our firm has been protecting the rights of injured workers for more than 55 years. If you have been injured on the job, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys represent injured workers throughout the Kansas City metro area and rural Missouri and Kansas.
Our lawyers have a complete understanding of Missouri and Kansas workers' compensation law, and we are dedicated to helping you obtain the most favorable settlement of your case.
Should I Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer?
It's important not to rush into a settlement just because the insurance company has made you an offer. For most injured workers, this is their first workers' compensation experience and they do not know what is fair or unfair. The insurance company's goal is to get you to settle your case as quickly and inexpensively as possible. The less money you get for your injury, the more money the insurance company makes. The following are examples of the types of questions you should ask:
- Will I need additional medical care in the future? If you and your doctor do not agree on whether you need additional medical treatment in the future, our lawyers can help you obtain an independent medical examination to determine whether future medical care should be discussed and included in your settlement.
- What does my permanent partial disability/impairment rating mean? The value of your settlement depends on the percentage of disability/impairment you have suffered as a result of your work injury. This is referred to as a permanent disability or impairment rating and this number is assigned by your treating physician. The higher your disability/impairment rating, the larger your lump-sum payment. There is often times a dispute about the appropriate disability/impairment rating between the insurance company and the injured worker. It is obviously the insurance company's goal to keep your disability rating as low as possible. It is our goal as your attorneys to ensure that your disability/impairment rating accurately and fairly represents the level of disability you have suffered from your work injury.
- Is the settlement offer fair? The first offer you receive from your workers' compensation insurance carrier is likely to be a "lowball" offer. If you accept that offer and your injury ends up being more serious than you think, you won't be able to go back and negotiate a higher settlement later.
- How will the settlement affect other benefits I am receiving? If you are receiving other government or insurance benefits, it's important to understand the effect your settlement will have on those benefits.
- What rights am I giving up if I settle my case? It is important to know what rights you are giving up by accepting a settlement from the insurance company. In most cases, you are closing your entire case and can never go back to the insurance company for money or for additional medical treatment. Your case will be forever closed. Before you sign any settlement documents, it is important that you speak with a workers' compensation attorney to see what rights you are giving up by settling your case.
Negotiating a workers' compensation settlement can be a very complex issue for a variety of reasons. The best thing you can do is contact our office and set up a free consultation to discuss the settlement process with one of our attorneys. Remember, you are the injured worker and will be the one living with the effects of your injury for the remainder of your life. You need to make sure that you are getting a fair deal before you settle with the insurance company and close your case forever.
Contact a Missouri Injured Worker Settlement Attorney
Free initial consultation: Contact our Kansas City workers' compensation settlement attorneys today to any questions you may have regarding settlement of your workers' compensation case. You can reach us by phone at 816-298-0580 or toll free at 866-548-6980 and via e-mail. We are paid on a contingency fee basis so you don't pay anything unless we win a settlement for you.
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