Workers’ Compensation Settlements: How They Are Handled
Atlanta courts do not order a workers’ compensation settlement. Rather, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) encourages parties to settle on their own. The settlements are voluntary and must result from the mutual agreement of the parties involved.
This means that a workers’ compensation judge does not tell the employee, employer, or insurer the fair amount of a settlement. Rather, the parties must both decide that the settlement is in their mutual best interest and then must agree on what they believe is a fair settlement amount. The settlement agreement is memorialized in a “settlement stipulation,” which is then submitted to the SBWC for approval.
Once the Board approves the settlement stipulation, it constitutes a “complete and final disposition of all claims on account of the incident, injury, or injuries referred to therein.” This means the settlement cannot be modified, changed, or amended, and the claim is closed forever. In other words, once you agree and sign the settlement papers, you cannot go back and ask for more benefits later. This is why it is critical to have a workers’ compensation attorney review your case before you agree to anything.
Negotiating Workers Compensation Settlements
In most cases, an adjuster will explain very little to the injured worker, as the adjuster’s goal is simply to close the claim as quickly as possible for the lowest amount possible. This often results in the worker getting shortchanged.
Workers’ compensation cases can and should be negotiated in order to maximize the benefits the worker or the family receives. Given the legal knowledge, professional connections, and skill set necessary to do this successfully, workers will best serve themselves by allowing an attorney to do the negotiating.
If offered a settlement by your employer’s insurance adjuster, there are several things your lawyer will do.
- Explain to you what the settlement entails and what benefits you will be required to give up as part of the settlement.
- Collect evidence and build the case to increase the settlement’s value.
- Estimate the true settlement your case value.
- Advise you on other types of settlements and legal options if your damages were astronomical or if you had substantial pain and suffering.
- Bargain for the highest settlement possible.
- Share other considerations with you, such as your eligibility for Social Security disability.
Free Workers’ Compensation Guide
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to Obtain Maximum Benefits
The attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers have successfully settled thousands of Atlanta workers’ compensation cases. Our results speak for themselves, as we have helped to put millions of insurance company dollars into the pockets of injured workers across the state of Georgia. In fact, Seth Bader has been awarded the distinction of becoming a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Because we know the system, the adjusters, and the defense attorneys, we can often negotiate a settlement by consulting with the adjuster or defense attorney. However, in other cases, it may be more appropriate to schedule a settlement mediation. No matter what the case calls for, we always vow to use our knowledge, skills, resources, and strategies to recover the most benefits we can for our clients.
If you were injured on the job or have developed a work-related disease, Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us at (404) 888-8888 for a free consultation and see how we may be of assistance to you.