Am I Entitled to a Lump Sum for my Work Injury?
Getting injured while at work is not an uncommon phenomenon. Employees who are met with an injury at the workplace are liable to receive workers’ compensation. And, if you have been fortunate enough never to have sustained a work injury until now, then workers’ comp may seem like a somewhat foreign concept. Workers’ compensation is defined as “a remedial social legislation to ensure that employees injured on the job will be paid without regard to fault.”
The workers’ compensation program was created to protect employees injured on the job. Typically, casual and contractual employees may not receive benefits covered under this program. These benefits may include medical costs, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Workers’ compensation program is a state-mandated insurance program.
If you have suffered an injury at work, but the insurance company has denied your claim, or in some other way disputed your claim, you may have the option of accepting a lump sum settlement. But, there is much more involved in this possibility than most are aware of.
What is a “Section 20 Settlement?
If you are wondering if there is a possibility to be granted a lump sum settlement following a work injury, you are in luck. However, there are many more details that you need to be informed of before seriously considering this option.
Specifically, in the state of New Jersey, you may be eligible to receive a lump sum workers’ comp settlement which practitioners might often refer to as a “Section 20” or a “lump-sum” dismissal.
However, this type of settlement does have its limitations.
By accepting a Section 20 Settlement, you essentially agree to accept the lump sum in exchange for a dismissal of your workers’ compensation claim. When you accept this lump sum settlement, you are thereby giving up any rights to future medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation services – and any other benefits or compensation that you would be awarded through a workers’ comp claim.
And, if you accept a Section 20 Settlement, you are not eligible to reopen the claim if your condition continues to grow worse over time.
Why Would You Accept a Section 20 Settlement?
If you are currently involved in a work injury claim, then you most likely already know how tricky workers’ compensation claims can be. That being said; is a lump sum of compensation worth dropping the benefits awarded in a workers’ comp claim?
In some particular and unique cases, yes. Since a Section 20 Settlement is final, this type of settlement should only be considered if the risks associated with taking the case to trial are detrimental enough to make dropping any future rights granted through a workers’ compensation claim worth it.
And, while taking the “easier” and quicker way may seem much more appealing at the moment, you have to remember to think in the long-run scope as opposed to just the short-term; which can be rather difficult since you are going through such an emotional and stressful time in your life.
How do You Know if You Should Accept a Section 20 Settlement?
As you can most likely imagine, the Section 20 Settlement route is usually preferred by the employer more so than the claimant. This is because it is an opportunity for the employer to put an end to the issue for good; meaning they will not have to follow up with the workers’ compensation claim and put an end to your case for good.
So, is it a wise idea to accept a Section 20 Settlement from your employer rather than seeing your claim through? The answer will vary depending on the important details of your case, and should not be decided without serious consideration and experienced counsel.
Get a Work Injury Lawyer Who Can Help You Decide
Obtaining an injury on the job is never an ideal situation, and should not ever be taken lightly. While you might be overwhelmed by the intimidating world of workers’ comp claim, you should make sure to consider all of your options with the help of a knowledgeable attorney in the employment field.
Navigating a work injury claim on your own is never the best way to seek the compensation you deserve. If you are considering filing a claim following a work injury, or are already in the process of filing a claim, you should reach out to an experienced lawyer straight away to explore your options.
If you believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation or want to explore other possible benefits available to you following a work injury, give the Law Offices of Goldberg & Wolf a call today at (856) 651-1600 so we can guide you on how to go about filing your claim.