You should accept a workers’ comp settlement in NC if it meets the following criteria:
- It will cover all your financial needs, including money you have already lost and money you expect to lose in the future, to the extent allowed by law.
- You are comfortable with all of the provisions included in the settlement.
- Your workers’ compensation attorney has reviewed the offer and agrees it is fair based on your needs.
In This Article
Types of Compensation Available in Workers’ Comp Settlements
Your employer’s workers’ comp insurer may offer a settlement after you suffer an on-the-job injury. Per the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), you could receive compensation for:
- Up to two-thirds of the wages you were making before the accident are to be paid until you can return to work
- Any medical treatments that your doctor (who is usually appointed by your employer or their insurer) says are necessary
- Disability, including the loss of use of any body part and/or the inability to earn as much money as you did before
- Disfigurement, which includes severe scarring, particularly when it affects highly visible parts of the body (e.g., the face or neck)
If your loved one passed away due to a workplace accident, you could be entitled to death benefits to help cover funeral expenses and make ends meet.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
When Not to Accept a Settlement Offer in Your Workers’ Comp Case
Insurance companies are in business to make money, so they may try to avoid paying what you deserve. This is why it is so difficult to tell when you should accept a settlement: without legal input, it may not be apparent if:
- The offer covers all of your losses
- The offer excludes compensable losses that you never even thought to ask for
- The insurance company has considered all of the facts and evidence in a fair way
In some cases, the insurer might push you to accept their settlement, even if you are uncomfortable with it. However, if they use any of the tactics listed below, that may be a sign for you to speak with an attorney before you agree to anything:
- The insurance company pressures you to accept the settlement quickly.
- The insurance company states or implies that you will never get a better offer and may lose all compensation if you do not take this settlement.
- The insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement about the accident or your injury.
- The insurance company tries to speak with you directly instead of going through your lawyer, or they try to convince you that you do not need a lawyer.
Even if none of these warning signs is present, you are not obligated to accept any settlement offer you do not agree with. For instance, if your doctor tries to make you go back to work before you are ready or disagree with your disability rating, you have every right to ask for mediation or a hearing.
A Comp Lawyer Can Ensure You Receive a Fair Settlement
A fast settlement may be tempting, especially if you are struggling to pay your bills or expect to be out of work for a long time. However, choosing a fast settlement over a fair one can cost you in the long run.
It is a good idea to plan on speaking with a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after a workplace injury. Your lawyer can serve as a “buffer” between you and the insurance company by:
- Speaking to others: Some insurers may try to use your own words against you. You can more easily safeguard your rights by only speaking to them through a lawyer or with your lawyer present.
- Requesting and gathering evidence: Strengthening your case with hard evidence can persuade an insurer to pay what you need. Lawyers know what evidence insurers want to see and how to find that evidence.
- Presenting your case: If your case gets as far as negotiations or a hearing, you can ask your lawyer to represent you and make all arguments on your behalf.
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act entitles workers across various industries to fair financial reimbursement when injured on the job. It is very important that everyone involved in the process respect this right at all times. An attorney can protect you against those trying to deny your claim or withhold appropriate compensation.
Let a Workers’ Comp Attorney from Our Firm Evaluate Your Settlement Offer
If your employer’s insurer offers a workers’ comp settlement, how can you tell if it is fair? Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can tell you whether or not you should accept the offer and help you fight for a better settlement if necessary. We proudly serve NC clients from our Rutherfordton office. Call today to receive a free case review.