Virginia Workers Compensation Settlements: Your Workers Compensation Settlement Calculator

 

Getting hurt on the job is one of the most difficult things you’ll face in life. A work-related injury or the diagnosis of an occupational disease will have a significant financial and emotional impact on you and your family. A Virginia workers compensation settlement can help reduce your stress.

 

Injured workers in Virginia deserve quick payment of wage loss and income benefits, coverage of necessary medical treatment, payment for permanent partial disability and loss of use, and fair Virginia workers compensation settlements. Instead they often face a complicated workers compensation claims process where employers and insurance companies deny claims, delay payment of wage loss benefits, and offer a lowball workers compensation settlement. Fight back!

 

Call or e-mail experienced workers compensation lawyer Corey Pollard for help preparing your case, calculating its settlement value, and negotiating a fair Virginia workers compensation settlement. We help injured employees get top-dollar workers’ compensation settlements for their damages.

 

Keep reading for more information on how to increase the value of your workers compensation claim. And check out our Virginia workers compensation settlement calculator to determine a fair settlement amount for your workplace injuries.

 

Virginia Workers Compensation Settlements We Have Obtained for Injured Employees

 

THE FOLLOWING ARE EXAMPLES OF SOME OF THE VIRGINIA WORKERS COMPENSATION SETTLEMENTS THAT WE HAVE NEGOTIATED FOR OUR CLIENTS:

 

THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT REQUIRE ALL ATTORNEYS TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AND DISCLAIMER TO THEIR CASE RESULTS: VIRGINIA WORKERS COMPENSATION SETTLEMENTS AND VERDICTS IN ALL CASES DEPEND ON VARIOUS FACTORS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEREFORE, PAST RESULTS IN CASES ARE NOT A GUARANTEE OR PREDICTION OF SIMILAR RESULTS IN FUTURE CASES THAT WORKERS COMP LAWYER COREY POLLARD MAY UNDERTAKE.

 

  • $1,000,000.00+ Workers Compensation Settlement and Award of Benefits for a construction worker who required an arm amputation following a workplace accident involving defective machinery.

 

  • Confidential settlement of $300,000.00 plus medical benefits for a workers’ compensation claim involving an airline.

 

  • Workers’ compensation settlement of $218,000.00 plus cash and medical benefits for a security guard injured in a motor vehicle accident.

 

  • Settlement of $200,000.00 for a delivery driver who injured both feet on the first day of work. This was in addition to more than $100,000.00 in medical treatment and wage loss benefits paid prior to settlement.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of more than $176,000.00 plus cash and medical benefits for a steel worker injured while working on a bridge.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $175,000.00 in addition to cash and medical benefits for an employee injured in a tractor-trailer accident who prevailed at a workers’ compensation hearing.

 

  • Settlement of more than $172,000.00 for an injured worker.

 

  • Settlement of $170,000.00 for an injured employee who hurt his back and knee in a work-related accident.

 

  • Settlement of $155,000.00 for a construction worker who suffered a lumbar strain on the job.

 

  • Workers’ compensation settlement of $145,000.00 for a HVAC technician who injured his leg and whose case was disputed by the employer and insurer on the ground that he was an independent contractor.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $140,000.00 for a district manager who injured her leg while lifting on the job.

 

  • Settlement of $138,500.00 for a flight attendant who injured both shoulders while moving freight.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $130,000.00 in addition to wage loss and medical benefits already paid for a nurse hurt while taking care of patients.

 

  • Settlement of $127,000.00 for a forklift driver who injured his abdomen in a construction accident.

 

  • Workers’ compensation settlement of more than $126,000.00 plus wage loss benefits and medical treatment already paid for a tractor-trailer driver with pre-existing arthritis.

 

  • Settlement of $125,000.00 for a construction worker who sustained neck and back injuries.

 

  • Workers’ compensation settlement of $125,000.00 for a fast food worker who injured her back after a slip and fall.

 

  • Workers comp settlement of $123,000.00 for an injured construction worker.

 

  • Settlement of $122,000.00 for an employee who injured her back and knee in a slip and fall.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $115,000.00 for a road crew member injured in a motor vehicle accident.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $100,000.00 plus medical benefits for an athlete in the entertainment industry.

 

  • Settlement of $100,000.00 for an operations manager who had injured her knee in a warehouse accident.

 

  • Settlement of $100,000.00 for a security guard who had pre-existing CRPS that was aggravated by an elevator accident at work.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $100,000.00 for an injured nurse.

 

  • Settlement of $95,000.00 for a retail worker who injured her shoulder.

 

  • Settlement of $80,000 for a nurse injured on the job.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $80,000.00 for an injured utility worker.

 

  • Settlement of $75,000.00 for a construction worker who had been released back to work and was capable of performing work similar to his pre-injury employment.

 

  • Settlement of $72,500.00 for a construction worker who had injured his shoulder on the job.

 

  • Workers compensation settlement of $70,000.00 plus all medical treatment for an injured health care worker.

 

  • Settlement of $68,500.00 for a nurse injured in a car accident.

 

  • Settlement of $62,500 for employee exposed to toxic mold at work.

 

  • Settlement of $60,000 for an industrial mechanic who sustained a chemical gas inhalation injury

 

  • Workers comp settlement of $60,000.00 for a phlebotomist who injured her ankle at work.

 

  • Settlement of $60,000.00 plus previously covered medical treatment for a construction worker who injured his knee in a slip and fall at work.

 

  • Virginia workers compensation settlement of $50,000.00 for a customer service rep injured in a slip and fall on the job.

 

  • Lump sum settlement of $47,000.00, plus payment of medical treatment including surgery, for an injured warehouse worker.

 

  • And many more

 

Why Agree to a Virginia Workers Compensation Settlement for Your Workplace Accident and Injuries?

 

A Virginia workers compensation case has many parts. We can help you with all of them. Whether you need help filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, issuing discovery requests and investigating your claim, trying your case at a workers compensation hearing, or determining your case’s settlement value, Corey Pollardvoted a Rising Star by Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine the past two years – can help.

 

All workers compensation settlements in Virginia are voluntary. For a case to settle, everyone must agree to the settlement – the injured employee, the employer, the insurance company, and even the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. No one can force you to close your case through a full and final workers compensation settlement.

 

So you’re thinking about accepting a settlement in your Virginia workers compensation case? There are many reasons why you may want to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement:

 

  • To avoid the risk of losing benefits. If your initial claim for workers’ comp benefits is pending or the employer has filed an application for hearing to stop your benefits, there is a risk that the Commission will issue an opinion that is unfavorable to you. There is also a risk that you could lose benefits if you prevail at hearing but the employer and insurer file a workers’ compensation appeal. By negotiating a workers compensation settlement you will have control over the outcome of your case and avoid letting a third party – the judge – decide what you’re entitled to. A workers’ comp settlement provides certainty.

 

  • To reduce stress: Trying to deal with the workers compensation adjuster and defense counsel is stressful, even when you have an attorney in your corner. The insurance company can deny authorization for appointments and surgeries at any time. Or it may start issuing your checks late, which causes financial stress. Even though these issues can be resolved through litigation, that takes time and can take a toll on your mental health. When you reach a fair workers compensation settlement you don’t have to worry about the insurance company making life more difficult for you. There are actually studies that show an injured employee’s health recovers better after they settle their case. We’ve even spoken to a few doctors who refuse to move forward with a needed surgery unless the claim settles. Why? They think their patient will have a better recovery without the stress of work comp claim

 

  • To increase the amount of Social Security Disability benefits you are receiving: For those of you who are receiving SSDI benefits while on workers’ comp, your monthly SSDI benefits may be getting reduced by the amount of temporary total disability benefits you are receiving. If you structure your work comp settlement correctly, you can reduce or even eliminate

 

  • To start a new career or job without having to worry about the insurance company stopping your benefits: Maybe you have a friend or family member who offered you a job. Or maybe you have looked for work while receiving workers comp benefits and finally got an offer. If you time your Virginia workers’ compensation settlement right, you can collect a lump sum amount of money then turn around and accept a job.

 

  • To have more control over your medical care and finances: You cannot choose your own doctor under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. You must choose a doctor from the panel of physicians offered by your employer and insurer. If you refuse to do so, then you may forfeit your right to benefits. If you settle your workers comp claim then you can treat with whatever doctors and specialists you want. Further, you may receive money from the insurance company in exchange for giving up rights to future benefits that you may never need or use. For example, let’s say that you are an injured worker who has discussed back surgery with his doctor. The doctor says there is a 50/50 chance that the surgery could help. As your workers’ compensation lawyer, I would work hard to have your settlement include the possibility that you would have to pay for that surgery out of pocket. If you decide not to have that surgery, you could pocket the money from your lump sum workers comp settlement.

 

  • To save time: Workers compensation claims can go on for years and require several different hearings to resolve disputed issues. This takes a toll on injured employees – mentally, physically, and financially. Though settlement is not a quick fix, it can reduce the stress you face and help with your recovery if you receive a fair amount.

 

When making the decision you should think about what happens if you don’t negotiate a workers compensation settlement. If you don’t accept a settlement with your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier, you usually have the following options:

 

  • When you have filed a claim for benefits or a change in condition application, but no decision has been made, you can ask the commission to refer your claim for a hearing on its merits. You will get your day in court and ask the deputy commissioner presiding over your case to award you whatever wage loss, medical, or permanent partial disability benefits you are seeking. The insurance company will hire a defense attorney to defend against your claim.

 

  • When you are under an award for lifetime medical benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, or temporary total disability payments, you can stay in a holding pattern. You will continue to receive these benefits for as long as you are allowed by law, so long as the employer does not file an application for hearing to suspend or terminate benefits. You may lose your rights to future benefits if the insurance company prevails on its employer’s application for hearing to suspend benefits.

 

The main advantage to settling your Virginia workers compensation case is that you get to maintain control. You are guaranteed a certain amount of money without the risk of a trial that could lead to you receiving less in benefits – or worse, nothing. A Virginia workers compensation settlement is the only way an injured employee can keep control over the outcome. Otherwise the commission or the Court of Appeals of Virginia will decide your claim.

 

The biggest disadvantage to settling your worker comp claim is that most insurance carriers will require that you give up your right to future medical treatment related to your work accident or occupational disease. If you will need surgery in the future and do not have alternative sources of insurance coverage, you must make sure the workers compensation settlement takes into account these future medical expenses.

 

A good Virginia workers compensation settlement is one that provides you with money for your past medical expenses, anticipated future medical treatment, wage loss, loss of future earnings, permanent partial disability, and vocational training.

 

Workers compensation attorney Corey Pollard has helped hundreds of injured workers just like you obtain top-dollar workers compensation settlement offers from insurance companies and self-insured employers. Each year we obtain millions of dollars in Virginia workers compensation settlements for our clients. Call us today to find out if settlement is in your best interest.

 

When Should I Consider Accepting a Virginia Workers Compensation Settlement?

 

Timing is everything. You may want to negotiate a fair Virginia workers compensation settlement if:

 

  • Your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier have denied your clam and refuse to provide agreement forms.

 

  • Your employer and its insurance carrier have strong defenses to your claim and there is a significant risk you may lose because your accident is not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act, you have not looked for work within your light duty work restrictions, or there is a dispute over whether your disability is related to your accident because of a preexisting condition.

 

  • You have private health insurance and there is conflicting medical evidence as to causation or work status.

 

  • You are frustrated with the process and want to move forward with your life while pocketing a lump sum through a workers compensation settlement.

 

  • You have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and will become Medicare eligible in the future.

 

  • You have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and have received permanent work restrictions and an estimate of future medical costs.

 

Types of Virginia Workers Compensation Settlements: Full and Final; Lump Sum with Open Medical; or Structured

 

In Virginia there are no limits on the terms of your workers comp settlement. The commission, however, does review all submitted documents. Its approval is needed before the workers compensation settlement becomes final.

 

Usually a workers comp settlement will fall into one of three categories: .

 

Full and Final Settlement: This is the most common type of workers compensation settlement in Virginia. The insurance company will make a one-time lump sum payment to you. By accepting this payment, you give up your right to temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and lifetime medical benefits. You also waive your right to any penalties, past-due payments, vocational rehabilitation, or unpaid mileage. If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits or are Medicare eligible, your workers compensation settlement may include a Medicare Set Aside (MSA) or medical allocation.

 

Lump Sum Settlement with Open Medical (Ongoing Payment of Medical Expenses): Insurance companies do not like this type of settlement, in which the injured employee gives up the right to wage loss and disability benefits but continues to receive necessary medical care paid for by the insurance company.

 

Structured Settlement: Injured workers in Virginia can also negotiate an agreement that provides for a structured settlement Under a structured settlement, you will receive payments over a period of time in exchange for releasing the employer and its insurer from liability in your workers’ compensation claim. These types of Virginia workers compensation settlements are rare and usually make sense only when the claim involves permanent and total disability for catastrophic work injuries.

 

Virginia Workers Compensation Settlement Calculator: How Much is Your Workers Compensation Case Worth?

 

Are you looking for an answer to the question, “How much will I get from a workers comp settlement?” Every workers compensation case is worth a different settlement amount. There is no exact science to calculating the right workers compensation settlement amount.

 

An attorney with experience representing injured employees and dealing with workers comp defense attorneys and insurance claims adjusters is invaluable when negotiating a settlement. Sometimes a lump sum workers compensation settlement is not the best option. Other times it is the best option because the employee will get compensated while eliminating the chance that he or she takes his case to trial and loses, which would result in no compensation. Insurance companies, on the other hand, settle to reduce their exposure and close the case out. Virginia workers compensation settlements can offer a win-win for all parties

 

If you are considering accepting a lump sum workers compensation settlement offer, you should consider the following issues and discuss them with your attorney.

 

  • Whether your accidental injury or occupational disease is covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Not every work-related injury or occupational disease qualifies for workers’ comp benefits. If there is a significant risk that you will lose on the issue of compensability, your claim will settle for a lower amount.

 

  • Your pre-injury average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW drives the value of your workers compensation case and settlement. The more money you made before your injury, the greater the value of your workers comp settlement.  This is because your temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, and permanent partial disability benefits are based on your AWW. Make sure you calculate the highest AWW possible when entering into settlement negotiations.

 

  • The extent of your work-related disability. Any doctor-issued work restrictions regarding your ability to lift, push, pull, carry, sit, stand, drive, walk, work without breaks, or focus and concentrate will impact the type of work you can return to. The fewer jobs you are capable of performing, the greater the value of your case and workers compensation settlement.

 

  • The length of time you will be out of work because of your restrictions (i.e., how difficult it will be for you to find work within your light duty restrictions). Your case should settle for a greater amount if the insurance company will have a hard time finding you a job within your work restrictions. Likewise, you should demand more money if it will take you a long time to find a job within your light duty work restrictions. An experienced attorney will discuss the labor market with his client when negotiating settlement.

 

  • How many weeks of temporary total disability benefits you have received. Most injured employees are capped at receiving 500 weeks of temporary total disability. This is arbitrary number determined by the General Assembly. But it’s the law. If you’ve been receiving benefits for a few years, then the settlement value of your claim will be lower than if you settled soon after the accident. This is because the number of weeks of benefits the insurance company may be liable for will have decreased.

 

  • The body part injured. The Workers’ Compensation Act assigns a different value to each body part. For example injuries to the arm are worth more than injuries to the leg. And injuries to the back and neck are not eligible for permanent partial disability benefits unless they affect use of the arms or legs. Some injured body parts have a higher workers compensation settlement value than others.

 

  • The expected cost of your future medical treatment. If you have reached MMI with no additional treatment necessary, your case will settle for a lower amount. If you may require one or more surgeries for your injuries then your workers compensation settlement should be for a higher amount. Also consider whether you will need prescription medication and pain management for the rest of your life. This type of treatment is expensive and should be considered before you accept a work comp settlement.

 

Obtaining Approval for Your Virginia Workers Compensation Commission Settlement

 

Virginia Code Section 65.2-701 requires that all Virginia workers’ compensation settlements be filed with the commission for approval. A settlement will be approved if – and only if – the commission thinks it is in the injured employee’s best interests. If the commission does not approve the settlement agreement, then it is void even if the employee, employer, and insurance company signed it.

 

There is no bright-line rule for what constitutes an acceptable settlement. The particular facts and circumstances of each case determine whether a proposed settlement is in the employee’s best interests. We have evaluated hundreds of proposed Virginia workers compensation settlements and can help you determine if an offer is in your best interest. We have never had the Commission reject one of our clients’ proposed workers compensation settlements.

 

To obtain settlement approval, the parties must give the commission sufficient information to determine if it is in the employee’s best interest. The information should include evidence that the employee’s injuries are stabilized, permanent partial disability exists, that the employee is capable of handling proceeds from the workers’ compensation settlement, and a plan for how the employee will use the settlement proceeds. Without appropriate medical reports, the commission will likely find that the proposed settlement is not in the employee’s best interest, unless the claim’s compensability is disputed.

 

Further, the commission requires that the parties identify the specific claims that are being settled. This is important in cases involving employees with multiple work-related accidents and open claims. The commission will consider a general release, without specific reference to all dates of injury, insufficient and not in the employee’s best interest. The commission frowns upon blanket releases where an injured worker gives up all rights indefinitely.

 

Using Rule 1.7 to Get Approval of Virginia Workers Compensation Settlements

 

The best way to make sure your workers compensation settlement is approved is to follow Rule 1.7 of the Rules of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. This rule governs compromise workers comp settlements and lump sum payments.

 

Rule 1.7 mandates that when settling a workers’ compensation claim, the parties submit to the commission a petition stating:

 

1. The matters in controversy (i.e., what is being disputed between the parties);

2. The proposed workers compensation settlement terms;

3. The total payments made by the employer and its insurance carrier to date, broken down between medical and wage loss payments;

4.The date through which the employer and insurer will pay for medical expenses (usually the employer and insurer will pay for medical expenses through the date the commission enters an order approving the settlement);

5. The method of payment (lump sum or annuity); and,

6. Other facts that will allow the Commission to determine if the proposed settlement is in the injured worker’s best interest (i.e., the defenses to the claim)

 

You must include the following documents with the petition setting forth the workers compensation settlement terms:

 

  • A medical report stating your current medical condition and whether your injuries have stabilized (have you reached maximum medical improvement);

 

  • A letter from either you or your workers’ compensation attorney stating that you are able to manage the settlement proceeds and describing why settlement makes sense for you;

 

  • A notarized affidavit stating that you understand that you do not have to settle your workers’ comp case and that you are doing so voluntarily;

 

  • An attorney’s fee statement endorsed by you and your work injury lawyer; and

 

  • Additional facts showing that settlement is the best option for you.

 

A proposed order, endorsed by you, your attorney, and the opposing party, should also be submitted to the commission along with the settlement petition. This is what the deputy commissioner signs if your workers compensation settlement is approved. It makes your settlement official.

 

Answers to Common Questions about Virginia Workers Compensation Settlements

 

How are Virginia workers compensation cases settled generally?

 

Usually the injured employee’s attorney will evaluate the claim and make a recommendation to his client when the client reaches maximum medical improvement. The client will then give settlement authority to the attorney and the attorney will convey a settlement demand to the insurer. The insurer then asks its attorneys to review the claim and make an offer.

 

From there the parties negotiate and attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. If and when a lump sum settlement is reached, the parties’ attorneys will negotiate the exact terms and then have their clients sign a Petition, Order, and Affidavit. These settlement documents are submitted to the Commission, where they are reviewed to make sure a lump sum settlement is in the claimant’s best interest. If the settlement is approved, then the insurance company has 14 days to issue payment to the injured worker. If the settlement is not approved, then the parties will renegotiate the terms with the Commission’s concerns in mind.

 

If there is a significant risk that your injury is not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act, your attorney may recommend trying to negotiate a workers compensation settlement before you reach maximum medical improvement or go to a hearing on the merits of your case.

 

How long does it take to get a workers’ comp settlement? 

 

There is no rule for how long it will take to negotiate a workers compensation settlement. It depends on the specifics of the case and the tendencies of the parties involved.

 

For example, some injured employees don’t mind the risk of losing at a workers’ compensation hearing and are willing to hold out for a higher Virginia workers comp settlement amount. Other injured employees want closure and will accept a lower amount.

 

Likewise, some insurance claims adjusters are more fair during negotiations and will make reasonable settlement offers from the beginning. Others try to play “hardball” and take a long time to get to a reasonable workers compensation settlement offer.

 

Some workers’ comp cases settle after an hour of negotiations. Others take a year or longer to settle. And some cases never settle because the parties value the case at different amounts.

 

Why does it take so long for a workers’ compensation case to settle?

 

Many of our readers want to get closure and move on with their life after a work injury, but only if they receive fair and just compensation from the insurance carrier. One of the most frequent question we receive is, “Why is it taking so long to settle my workers’ compensation case?” Here are some reasons why your case may not have settled yet:

 

  • Your doctor does not think you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Some insurance carriers will not settle a workers’ comp claim until your injuries have stabilized and your treating physician thinks you have reached MMI. Once you reach MMI, your doctor should state whether you have permanent work restrictions and any degree of permanent disability.

 

  • Your lawyer is still obtaining evidence. Your lawyer may not have all of your medical records, or he may need clarification from your physician as to your permanent restrictions. This information is usually needed to perform a full evaluation of the workers’ compensation case.

 

  • Your lawyer is lazy. Some attorneys are not aggressive when it comes to trying to settle a case at the appropriate time.

 

  • The insurance carrier refuses to negotiate. This is rare, but does happen from time to time. There are some insurance company adjusters who would rather try the case or let benefits continue to run than reach a full and final resolution. If you are receiving ongoing wage loss benefits, your lawyer does not have many options in this scenario.

 

  • Your lawyer is friends with the insurance company’s attorney. This is not a cause for concern. Close relationships between opposing attorneys can help the parties reach a fair settlement.

 

  • Your attorney does not have much workers’ compensation experience. Unfortunately we see this happen quite often. Some general practice attorneys may take on one or two workers’ comp cases each year. They may not be up to date on the procedural rules and case law that will govern your case. That’s why you should seek out an experienced Virginia workers’ comp attorney.

 

  • Your lawyer has other cases that are worth more money and is spending more time on those cases. If that is what is happening, seek out an attorney who will treat your case as a priority.

 

Should I accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer?

 

No. In our experience every workers compensation settlement offer is negotiable. And the insurance company expects you to negotiate. Contact a work injury attorney before accepting the first offer you receive.

 

What is the most important thing for me to consider prior to accepting a lump sum workers compensation settlement?

 

Before accepting a settlement offer, you must think about how you will support yourself and receive medical care for your work injury or occupational disease. By settling, you are giving up the right to all future wage loss benefits. This means that you need to think about how you will use the lump sum settlement. You should also consider if you will try to get back into the work force.

 

Though it is possible to settle a workers’ compensation claim and have the insurer pay for future medical care that is reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the work accident, this type of settlement is becoming more and more rare. It is more common for the insurer to be relieved of its obligation to cover medical care as part of the settlement. Indeed, this is usually what happens when the injured worker has private health insurance and liability for the work injury is disputed.

 

Can I go back to work after getting a workers comp settlement?

 

Yes. You are allowed to find another job. In fact, you may even return to your pre-injury employer so long as you did not execute a resignation and release agreement as part of settlement and a position is offered.

 

Why is the insurance company requiring resignation as part of the workers compensation settlement?

 

Many employers and insurance carriers require a voluntary resignation from the injured employee as part of settlement. This requirement is usually a company policy. It has nothing to do with whether or not the injured worker was a good employee. There are three reasons why an employer might require a voluntary resignation for a lump sum settlement

 

Protection against future claims. Work injuries can impact you for the rest of your life. You may never fully recover. If you are not 100%, then there is an increased chance you will suffer another work injury. Your employer may require resignation so that it will not have to pay out additional workers’ compensation benefits for a subsequent claim in the future.

 

Prevent unemployment claims. If you “voluntarily” resign, then you will usually not receive unemployment benefits. This saves your employer money.

 

Change company culture. Employers know that employees talk. If you receive a large lump sum payment and then go back to work, then you may tell co-workers about how much you received. Your co-workers will know that the company is willing to pay for workers’ comp settlements and let them go back to work.

 

Will my workers’ compensation settlement impact my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments?

 

Settling your workers’ comp case will not have a negative impact on your Social Security Disability Insurance payments if you structure the settlement correctly. In fact, a lump sum settlement may have a positive impact and increase how much you receive in Social Security Disability so long as your settlement documents include proration language. The value of the positive impact depends on how much your disability benefits were being offset by your workers’ compensation payments.

 

Will the employer or its insurance carrier pay my attorney’s fees as part of settlement?

 

]No. The insurance carrier will not pay your attorney’s fee after you settle the case. Your attorney’s fee will come out of your lump sum, so it is important that you consider your attorney’s fee and how much money you will net when making the decision to settle your case.

 

Who decides the amount of my attorney’s fee when I settle my workers’ compensation case?

 

Section 65.2-714(A) states that fees of attorneys are subject to the approval and award of the commission. When you reach a settlement in your case, your attorney will provide a copy of the retainer agreement you signed at the beginning, which should have outlined his or her fee, to the Commission. If the retainer agreement is fair and appropriate under the commission’s 20% fee benchmark, the requested fee will likely be approved. You do, however, have the opportunity to request that your workers’ compensation attorney receive a lower fee if you feel that he or she did not do what they were supposed to do.

 

How long does the insurance company have to pay my lump sum settlement?

 

Under Rule 1.7 of the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Rules, payment for Virginia workers compensation settlements is due within 10 days after the Commission enters the order approving your settlement. Some case law suggests they have 44 days because of the thirty-day appeal period to vacate award orders.

 

How does workers comp pay you the settlement amount?

 

After the Workers’ Compensation Commission approves your settlement, the insurance company will issue two settlement checks: one to the workers comp lawyer who helped you negotiate the settlement for his or her fees and costs (which are approved by the Commission) and another to you for the remainder of the lump sum settlement amount.

 

You may ask the employer or insurance company to direct deposit your workers compensation settlement check. Just make sure you do this soon after negotiating the settlement.

 

Does the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission itself provide any information about workers compensation settlements?

 

Yes. The commission provides sample settlement n its website. It may not make sense to include similar terms in your work-related accident settlement. Or you may need additional terms to protect your legal rights. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to negotiate the best settlement terms possible for your work injury or occupational disease case.

 

I’ve signed workers comp settlement documents but the commission has not approved settlement. Can I back out of the deal?

 

Yes. You may withdraw your consent to the settlement if the commission has not yet entered the order approving your settlement. If the order has been entered, you must petition the commission to review the settlement within thirty days of the date it was entered. Once thirty days has passed, the commission will rarely vacate a settlement. Only if you or the employer prove fraud, mutual mistake, or imposition will a workers’ comp settlement be vacated once the 30 day period has passed.

 

The Attorney to Negotiate the Best Virginia Workers Compensation Settlement for You

 

The decision to accept a Virginia workers compensation settlement is the most important decision you can make in your claim. You should approach your workers compensation settlement negotiations with an idea of how much your case is worth and a careful plan for the future.

 

An experienced Virginia workers compensation attorney can help you with this plan and work to get more favorable terms and the most amount of money possible in your workers compensation lump sum settlement. Call Attorney Corey Pollard to negotiate your workers compensation settlement in Virginia. We’ll use our Virginia workers compensation settlement chart to negotiate a fair settlement for you that promotes justice.