Should you settle your case? (Introduction - Part Two)
Please see our earlier article on settling your workers' compensation case. You now know that settling an on the job injury case is very different from settling a personal injury case. In a workers' compensation case, there is no jury, the judge can't award you a settlement (also called a verdict or an award). You can only settle a workers' compensation (also called a w/c or work comp) case by compromising with the adjuster. The adjuster and their attorneys have more knowledge and experience than the injured worker so you really need to consult with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. That helps level the playing field and helps protect your rights.
This compromise is very important and you should understand the basics as to what you are getting and what you are giving up. Again, a workers' compensation attorney is vitally important to make sure you do not get cheated. The adjuster may be a very pleasant person (despite their reputation, many are great people!), but their job is to settle the case for as little money as possible. A work comp lawyer has the job of getting you the most money possible.
The lump sum settlement consists of a lump sum of money, it is tax free (legally), and settlement represents closure. That phase of your life is over. You are free! No more w/c doctors, no more adjusters, no depositions, etc. Those are significant benefits. The downside, however, needs to be considered and that is that the lump sum of money is not a great amount (generally) because it does not include payment for pain and suffering. You experience pain, of course, but under the Florida Workers' Compensation Law, you do not receive compensation for it. Also, if you settle your case, you will no longer receive medical care at the expense of the workers' compensation insurance company. Therefore, you definitely need an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to guide and advise you in not only making a settlement, but in order to do it intelligently and for your ultimate benefit.