Simply put, injured workers who hire a lawyer to negotiate and finalize their settlement for them will generally yield more money in their pocket, even after paying an attorney fee!
Settlement can range from rather simple to extremely complex. The more complex the situation, the better off you would be by having a lawyer guide you through this process. A good Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you when you don’t need to hire formal representation and when it would be of benefit for you to obtain official legal counsel.
Hiring a lawyer to settle your workers compensation claim can have many other benefits as well.
Your lawyer would handle all of the negotiations, both written and verbal until a settlement figure is presented. This process can take weeks or even months and is usually accompanied by research and review of medical records, medical bills, and wage-earning statements. This process can be very time-consuming and overwhelming to an injured worker.
Timing & Strategy
Any good Virginia workers compensation lawyer can tell you; settlement can involve a lot of timing and strategy. A full and final settlement of a Virginia workers compensation claim has a lot of moving parts, like resignation or the ending of the lifetime medical benefits. You’ll want to work closely with your lawyer to ensure that deadlines are met and settlement is executed at the right time and is in your best interest.
A lawyer will know what language is appropriate in the settlement documents to protect your interests when it comes to other benefits like Medicare or Social Security. In the event that a Medicare Set Aside Fund (MSA) is required, your lawyer will work with the defense attorney and the 3rd Party Examiner to determine the estimated MSA costs and then present the proposed settlement and MSA costs to Medicare for final approval.
Additionally, your lawyer would file the necessary settlement documents, MSA documents (if applicable), medical documents, and questionnaires to the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission for final settlement approval.
Peace of Mind
Settlement can be confusing, and the paperwork can be difficult to understand. Having a professional on your side to negotiate on your behalf and explain strategies and documents can give you enormous peace of mind in knowing that you have a skilled lawyer fighting for you and explaining every step of the process to you.
Settlement is a BIG deal. A full and final settlement will effectively close your workers compensation claim and you would be giving up your rights to seek additional benefits in the future related to your workplace injury. Make sure you get it right!
If you want to discuss a settlement you have received or if you are interested in pursuing a settlement, contact my office today and my team would be happy to assist you! 804-755-7755
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.