The answer depends on a multitude of issues. Are your benefits being challengerd? In other words is there a petition filed by the insurance company to cut off or reduce your benefits? How likely is your success on the defense of that petition? How long have you been out or work? What is your age and education? Theses are all questions which help to determine whether or not a settlement is reasonable.
Generally speaking workers compensation cases settle for between 3-5 years of total disability benefits. But it is not as simple as just multiplying numbers. As stated abopve there are a lot of factors that will make a case worht more or less than 3-5 years of benefits.
The last thing to consider is that you cannot be forced to settle your claim. If you do not wish to do so the insurance company cannot force you to settle.
Did your attorney indicate why you might be losing your case? Is there some sort of pending petition (e.g. termination petition, modification petition, suspension petition)? If something is pending, then depending on the facts of your case and the medical and lay testimony the judge will ultimately render a decision. You should really have a frank discussion with your attorney so you have all of the information necessary to consider a settlement, if that is in your best interest.
Francis J. Lafferty, IV, Esquire Helping injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. firstname.lastname@example.org www.norlaflaw.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.
There is no formula to tell you if you are settling you're case for a "fair" amount. Lots of people want to know that they are getting a fair settlement for their comp case in Pennsylvania, but there are so many factors, and so many variable that go into a settlement, that it is impossible to tell you if you are getting a "fair" settlement. You really need to ask yourself some very important questions. The following is just a sample of what i would ask you.
Are you ready to settle your case? Could you find other work that will pay you enough money to support you and your family once the $60,000 is gone. (When you think about it, 60k is not really a lot of money). How old are you? Are you getting social security benefits? Do you have a Medicare card? Are you settling both the wage part of your case, and the medical part of your case? If you are settling the medical part of your case, how are you going to pay medical bills for the work injury after the settlement? Are there any child support liens? Are there any unpaid medical bills out there that you don't know about? Who is going to pay those bills once your case is settled? What dies your doctor say about your current medical condition and whether you can return to work, and if you can are there any medical restrictions on you? Are you in a union, and if so, what is the effect of your settlement on your union benefits? Are you eligible for short term disability, long term disability or pension disability benefits? If you settle your case will you be asked to give up your rights to short term disability, long term disability, pension disability, or unemployment benefits? Do you have a lawyer? Have you asked your lawyer to explain this settlement to you? Have you looked at the compromise and release agreement to see what it says? Is the employer/insurer asking you to also sign a general release, or a separation agreement? Are you perhaps going to be giving up other rights by signing such an agreement? Do you the particular tax ramifications of settling? Will the settlement effect any social security benefits, now or in the future? Will you be allowed to reapply for a job with the company?
I could go on and on, and I am sure that I missed a few areas.
Can you see why your question is so troubling to me as a lawyer? There are so many things other than just the money that you need to think about. If you don't have a lawyer, please consider getting one that specializes in Pa. workers compensation. There is a lot more to a comp settlement than the money.
The answers above are all good and should be taken to heart. Regardless of your decision, you need to be comfortable with it as you will live with it for the rest of your life. Your lawyer should explain the pros and cons to you. On a side note, keep in mind that you may want to consider applying for SSD. One more issue to think about ... Best of luck to you!
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