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Ohio Workers' Comp Settlements
After experiencing a workplace injury, an injured worker may be unsure of how he or she can receive compensation. Some employers may ask their injured workers to settle their claim. While a settlement may be right for your claim, you should be aware of the potential drawbacks of a settlement. Talking to a Cincinnati workers compensation lawyer is the most direct way to get answers to your questions. You can discuss your worker’s compensation claim with attorney-at-law Mark L. Newman in a free consultation. He will review the specifics of your claim and help you to understand if its time to file for a workers comp settlement.
Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Ohio
While good reasons to purse a settlement for a workers’ comp claim exist, you should be aware that when you do so, you give up some of your rights.
If you settle, you are giving up any right to further benefits through the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) for the injuries which are part of the claim that’s settled. You do this in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of money, or settlement. In general, once this happens, signing the agreement forfeits all rights and other benefits directly related to this injury.
However, you aren’t giving up any and all claims to workers’ comp benefits. You’re only referring to the injury at hand–the specific injury on the specific date in the specific location.
How is a Workers Comp Settlement Different in Ohio?
Unlike most states, Ohio has a monopolistic Bureau of Workers Compensation. The BWC insures most employers in the state. There are only a small number of Ohio-based employers that pay out their own workers’ compensation claims and are self-insured.
So, in most cases, workers will not purse a settlement until they have reached what is called MMI, maximum medical improvement. This is when medical professionals working on your case believe that your condition will not improve with more treatment.
This is the place where you’ve essentially plateaued.
Workers compensation is a claim made by an employee when they receive injuries on the job. The majority of U.S. workers are already covered by workers compensation insurance due to it being a federal law. If you’re employed in the United States, odds are you have workers compensation benefits.
Workers compensation insurance is in place to cover medical care and lost wages that result from a workplace injury. When the employee isn’t happy with the amount that’s offered by the employer’s insurance company, that's when a settlement may be necessary.
Settlements are beneficial because they offer a sum of money that can cover medical expenses, lost income and other injury-related expenses. If the parties still can’t come to an agreement for the settlement, the claim would then get brought to court.
Workers comp settlements payout in two ways. These are a lump sum or a structured settlement. Lump sums are a one-time payment from the insurance company or the employer. We’ll go more into detail below.
A structured settlement is payments that get made over an agreed period of time.
The amount awarded in a workers compensation settlement depends on several factors. The type of injury you received and the extent of it is the factor that contributes the most to the amount. It also depends on the lost wages and damages you are able to prove. The factors that are brought to consideration are as follows:
- Past, present, and future medical costs that resulted from the injury
- Lost wages
- Potential lost earnings that will likely come from the injury
- Disability payments
- Legal fees
- Cost of potential retraining to perform job
- Pain and suffering as a result from the injury
Having a lawyer like Mark Newman can ensure you get the most payout possible from your settlement.
A workers compensation lump sum settlement is a payment from an employer to an injured worker. This negotiated settlement gives the employer and employee more control over the process and allows them to resolve issues efficiently.
To obtain a settlement, the representatives for both the employer and injured worker must negotiate and agree on a sum. If the parties agree to a settlement, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) must then approve the terms of this agreement. The BWC will also send a letter to the Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC) to determine if the agreement is fair to the worker.
Lump sum settlements separate into two categories: partial and full settlements.
- Partial settlements
- A partial settlement is a payment that settles only a portion of a workers compensation claim.
- For example, you could settle your claim for a certain type of benefit but still reserve the right to receive medical treatment.
- Full settlements
- Accepting a full settlement means that you will receive no additional compensation or benefits for your claim.
After coming to an agreement, a mandatory 30-day waiting period starts. Any party involved in the settlement can withdraw their consent to the agreement in this window.
Every workers compensation case is different. Not all of them end in a settlement, but most do. Only 5% of workers comp cases go to trial. The details of your accident, injury, and medical coverage will determine if a settlement is your best option. For some workers, settlements are beneficial because they’re met with a lump sum that covers their losses. Others may have problems with settlements because they may have to pay for previously undiscovered medical issues with a limited amount of money. Settlements also require workers to carefully plan their financial futures, which can cause issues if unexpected costs arise.
To receive compensation from the settlement, the worker must first waive the right to sue their employer. If you claim that you were hurt due to the negligence of your employer or another third party, you shouldn’t wave this right. You can press for a lawsuit and take the case to court to sue for any damages you received.
Whether you choose to settle or you want to file a lawsuit, you’ll need an experienced lawyer to represent you. As your attorney, Mark Newman will help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of a settlement. Do not start the settlement process without first calling our firm to discuss your options.
If the amount offered in the settlement cannot be agreed on, the lawsuit will move on to a court trial. When brought to court, the judge must determine if the claim is valid. If he or she believes it is a valid claim, they will propose an amount that the courtroom finds fair.
When the amount is given, the employee and their employer’s insurance will either agree or choose to appeal. An appeal is only permitted for 30 days after the decision is given. Both sides are able to appeal either the entirety of the settlement or certain parts of it.
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Speak With A Cincinnati Workers' Comp Settlement Specialist Before Accepting A Settlement
Since 1989, Mark L. Newman, Attorney at Law, has devoted his practice to helping injured and disabled clients. He will review all aspects of your case and help you determine if accepting a workers’ compensation settlement is in your best interests. The Ohio State Bar Association has certified Mark as a specialist in workers’ compensation law with more than 25 years of experience. He will advise you on the best course of action for your claim and fight to get you the best possible outcome. Give Mark a call today to schedule a free consultation at 513-813-7616 or fill out our online form to get in contact with us.
Mark L. Newman Attorney at Law
3074 Madison Road Suite 2N
Cincinnati, OH 45209
Phone: (513) 721-1350
Fax: (513) 721-2301