Negotiating a Settlement

Over time, the process of maintaining your workers’ compensation benefits can begin to feel like a burden. Employers and their insurance companies will repeatedly press you to undergo medical evaluations and continue to challenge your benefits. To ensure benefits in the future without facing additional pressure from employers and insurers, many injured workers decide to reach a settlement.

At Gross & Kenny, LLP, we are fully equipped to protect your rights during settlement negotiations to make sure you get what you deserve. We have successfully guided workers through the workers’ compensation process for more than two decades and are led by a certified workers’ compensation attorney.*

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Compromise And Release Settlements

What is a compromise and release (C&R) settlement? It is a settlement for a lump sum of money that also accounts for future medical costs and lost wages. Once a compromise and release have been reached, the workers’ compensation claim is resolved and terminated.

Our experienced representation is critical in these cases, as failing to negotiate a proper settlement could leave you at a disadvantage for the rest of your life as you struggle with your injury and lost wages. The insurance company will challenge every aspect of your claim in order to pay as little as possible. Our lawyers will build the strongest possible case and negotiate a settlement that is in your best interest.

Factors that will drive the outcome of your settlement negotiations include:

  • Your overall health condition, including pre-existing conditions
  • Your abilities outside of work
  • Your vocational history, including your future earning capacity
  • Your age
  • Your wage rate
  • Your ability/inability to work

We will negotiate the maximum amount of money you can get under the circumstances.

Hybrid Settlements

In some situations, it is in the best interest of an injured worker to pursue a hybrid settlement. In a hybrid settlement, it is possible to leave open medical benefits while settling the wage loss component of the claim.

Negotiating a Workers’ Compensation Settlement: Mistakes to Avoid

It is best to allow your workers’ compensation attorney to handle all steps the process of negotiating your settlement may involve. While a qualified professional handles your case, you can focus on your recovery.

An experienced lawyer can also help you avoid making mistakes that could negatively impact the amount of money you settle for. They include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

Speaking directly with an adjuster

Don’t correspond directly with an adjuster or any other representative from the insurance company. This type of correspondence is best left to your attorney.

An adjuster may attempt to convince you they are on your side. The fact that an insurance adjuster is pretending to be sympathetic to your plight does not mean they are behaving honestly. Their end goal may be to catch you making a statement that could be used against you later when negotiating a settlement.

Perhaps your adjuster calls you on the phone and asks how you’re feeling. You may tell them you’re “doing okay.”

This is a common type of response to such a question. Many of us immediately say we are doing well or “pretty good” when asked how we’re feeling. We may do so even if we’re actually ill or in pain.

Although you’ve told the adjuster you’re doing fine, truthfully, you might be experiencing significant pain from your injuries. That doesn’t matter. You’ve already given the adjuster reason to assume you’re not in pain. This simple statement may come back to haunt you during negotiations later.

None of this is meant to worry you. It’s simply meant to highlight the importance of trusting your workers’ compensation attorney to negotiate and correspond with the insurance company on your behalf.

Posting about your case on social media (or posting on social media in general)

Many of the mistakes you can make that might potentially have a negative influence on the outcome of settlement negotiations have nothing directly to do with the negotiation process.

For example, insurance adjusters could monitor your social media accounts to look for posts that might indicate you are exaggerating the severity of your injuries.

Perhaps you’re recovering from a work-related injury but nevertheless feel able to accompany your friends on a vacation where they may participate in physical activities that your injury should keep you from participating in. Even if you didn’t actually participate in these activities, if you share pictures from the trip on social media, when negotiating with your lawyer, an insurer could cite these posts to argue that it appears your injuries are not particularly serious.

Refraining from posting on social media until your case is settled may be difficult. However, exercising digital discipline is vital in these circumstances.

Just remember that the biggest mistake you can make when negotiating a settlement is to try doing so yourself. Your odds of arriving at an ideal settlement will be optimized if you trust your lawyer to handle your case.

Protect Your Rights Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Benefits Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP

It is not always best to settle, and our experienced lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, can help you determine the best course of action. Our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers are highly skilled negotiators and litigators and will fight for your best interests. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 215-512-1500 or contact us online. Remember, we don’t get paid unless you get paid.

*Jeffrey S. Gross is certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on workers’ compensation law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

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