If your on-the-job injury is slow to heal, you may be dealing with a permanent injury. This means that you may never be able to work at your previous job again, and you may be entitled to a lump-sum settlement from the workers' comp insurance company. That same insurance that paid for your medical care and a partial salary is also responsible for paying you a settlement. Read on to learn more about taking your time when it comes to knowing how much you are owed for your work-related injury.
The permanent injury ruling
The workers' comp carrier refers to a permanent injury as maximum medical improvement (MMI). That means that you are unlikely to improve further from the point of a special medical exam. You will still need, and are eligible for, continued medical benefits, but MMI also means a lump sum payment and more.
The timing of the MMI ruling depends on your unique circumstances. If it can be immediately determined that your injury is permanent, the ruling will come quickly after your injury. For example, catastrophic injuries like burns, brain trauma, spinal injuries and amputations are usually ruled to be MMI fairly quickly. Otherwise, an injury like a back injury may only qualify for this ruling after some time has passed and a failure to properly heal.
You are entitled to benefits
No matter when you get the ruling of MMI, your weekly partial salary benefits will end and you will be offered a variety of other benefits. For example:
1. A lump sum payment.
2. Future medical expenses.
3. Rehabilitation training.
4. Another job part time or light duty.
Additionally, you may be qualified for Social Security disability pay and other government benefits due to your permanent injury, such as Medicaid.
Settling too quickly
Once you are ruled to be at MMI, you must proceed very carefully. The settlement you end up accepting must cover you for the rest of your working days, and you should not make the mistake of taking the first offer. As a matter of fact, a new trend of making an offer for permanent benefits early on in the process is emerging. Often, the real facts of the case have not been established, and a worker who is desperate for money and without legal council may make the mistake of jumping at the inadequate offer.
Using the services of a workers compensation attorney will ensure that you don't make grave mistakes with your workers' comp claim, so speak to one today.