The settlement of a workers' compensation case is completely different from a settlement in an auto accident case. Often times in explaining the options for settlement in a workers' compensation case, I will get this question: "Doesn't work comp have to compensate me for my pain and suffering?" Unfortunately, the answer is no. There is no compensation for pain and suffering in Florida workers compensation cases.
What are the benefits considered in negotiating a workers' compensation settlement? Here is a brief overview: Past indemnity (any wage benefits unpaid or underpaid in the past) + Future indemnity (any wage benefits you may be owed in the future) + Future medical (the amount of money the employer will likely pay for medical care and services in the future) = Settlement value.
Other considerations may include whether or not you will be required to resign from your employer if you settle (this is often the case) and whether or not you have utilized your one-time change of physician in the context of your care for your work-related injury.
Although a settlement may be in your best interest in some situations, be cautious when considering whether or not to settle your workers' compensation case because it is often difficult to determine what you will require in terms of future medical care. Also, determining what wage benefits you may be due in the future can be speculative and difficult to determine.
This legal guide just scratches the surface of what is involved in a workers' compensation settlement and the issues to consider. If you are being offered a settlement for your workers' compensation case and you do not have an attorney, please contact a qualified workers' compensation attorney in your area immediately. Workers' compensation law can be confusing, so don't go it alone. Get an attorney to protect your rights.