Workers Compensation Settlements
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, it is vital to seek medical assistance, and then legal help. Boston workers' compensation cases, like other personal injury claims, can be resolved through a settlement. Insurance companies are not obligated to settle, and you are not compelled to accept a settlement offer. Unlike other states, Massachusetts judges cannot order the payment of a flat amount to conclude the case. Judges are only allowed to look at a proposed settlement and determine if it is in your best interests.
In order to achieve the settlement you deserve, you need assistance. Having a workers' compensation attorney on your side to assist you is necessary to protect your rights and provide legal guidance through the settlement process. Contact an experienced attorney at Bellotti Law Group P.C. today.
What are Workers’ Compensation Settlements?
If you were injured or became ill from work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits include lost wages and medical expenditures. Additionally, there are non-medical benefits such as vocational retraining. If a family member suffers a workplace fatality on the job, they may be eligible for benefits. These benefits consist of two-thirds of the deceased worker's average weekly wages (up to the state limit).
If you are an injured worker, or you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, a settlement may be the best option for you. When an insurer makes an offer to the injured worker to settle their claim for a lump amount, you may accept the offer. These settlements are one-time payments that can replace weekly compensation and other benefits. Any payout must be in writing and approved by the Department of Industrial Accidents. According to Massachusetts law, the DIA can only approve a settlement if it is in the worker's best interests. If the settlement is rejected, you and your insurer might continue to negotiate until a satisfactory agreement is reached.
How do Lump Sum Settlements Work?
When an insurance company offers to settle your claim and you accept the offer, a lump sum settlement is established. Irrespective of your and your insurer's willingness to settle a case, all lump sum settlements are subject to scrutiny by judges or conciliators at the Department of Industrial Accidents. The Department of Industrial Accidents must assess whether the settlement is in your best interests. If the settlement is deemed to be in your best interests, it is authorized, and the insurer is required to pay you within 14 days. If the settlement is not accepted, the parties can continue to negotiate and offer a new settlement proposal to the Department for consideration.
Major Factors to Consider in Settlement Cases
Many factors influence the size of the settlement. The sum of your weekly compensation and the level of a disability connected with your injury are the two most important factors.
Injured workers are free to continue their business once a settlement has been approved. You will be able to return to work as soon as you are able. According to a formula in the Workers' Compensation Act, employers are not obligated to hire you back, unless there is a written contract or an established business policy to the contrary.
What Are Third-Party Settlements?
In some cases, a third party may be held liable for your workplace injury. You or your employer's insurance may file a third-party recovery claim. You must wait at least seven months after the injury to file a claim under Massachusetts law. Unlike workers' compensation settlements, Massachusetts does not mandate that a settlement with a third party be in your best interests. This is a statutory requirement in workers' compensation claims for lump-sum settlements with the insurer. If there is a claim against a third party and a settlement offer, both must be submitted to the DIA at the same time so that they may be heard concurrently and you are protected.
Contact our Massachusetts Workers Compensation Attorney
The workers' compensation system in Massachusetts is complicated, and many things may go wrong while settling a claim. Our expert Massachusetts workers' compensation lawyer at the Bellotti Law Group P.C. can assist you in understanding your rights and responsibilities, as well as maximizing your workers' compensation settlement.