Seeking a Settlement for your Workers’ Compensation Claim vs. Going to Trial
Workers’ compensation claims do not always go as planned. Ideally, you would notify your employer of your accident and injury, receive a diagnosis from a doctor, then recover at home or on light duty while receiving compensation for your medical bills and a portion of your wages. But in many cases, it is necessary to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer to negotiate a fair compensation amount. Sometimes, this compensation amount can be settled between your lawyer and the workers’ compensation provider. In other cases, you need to go to trial to have the case settled by the court.
The Benefits of Settling your Claim
Settling your claim out of court saves you from the expenses and stresses that come with litigation. But when you settle your claim, you can potentially have to settle for less money than you would be able to receive through a ruling in your favor. Think of settling your claim as the “safe option.” Your lawyer negotiates with the workers’ compensation provider and the doctor who examined your injury to reach a settlement package that adequately covers your expenses.
If you settle your claim, you can receive either a lump sum of money or a structured settlement, which is an agreement to receive a specific amount of money in installments. The settlement must be approved by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. If you are worried that you will not be able to receive your payments or that you can potentially secure a higher compensation amount, consider going to trial. Settling is the best option for individuals who absolutely need to receive specific treatments, like surgery.
The Benefits of Going to Trial
Approximately five percent of workers’ compensation claims go to trial. Usually, it is in both parties’ best interest to avoid trial because litigation is a lengthy, expensive process. But sometimes, it is a necessary process for the injured worker.
During the trial, your lawyer will present evidence to support your claim, such as witness testimonies and your medical record, to demonstrate your need for compensation to the Workers’ Compensation judge. Your employer’s workers’ compensation provider will also present evidence against your claim to persuade the judge to rule against you. If you can afford the risk of losing your case, consider going to trial. A trial ruling can potentially be much larger than a settlement. If you lose your case, you can appeal the ruling to seek compensation again, but know that this, too, is risky and can result in you coming away from the process with nothing.
Work with an Experienced New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Knowing whether to settle your claim or go to court to have its settlement determined by a judge is not easy. There are circumstances where settling a workers’ compensation claim is the better course of action and there are circumstances where it is beneficial to litigate a claim. To make this determination easier for yourself, work with one of the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at The Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Office. Contact us today to schedule your initial legal consultation.