As a New York State Workers’ Compensation claim progresses, most claimants are interested in understanding their options for possible settlement. That could happen early in the case, or more commonly, as the case progresses and a finding of permanency has been made or is about to be made.
A big mistake of unrepresented claimants usually make involves ascertaining the realistic value of their claim. Many people simply look at their lost earnings and the physical and emotional turmoil that they have endured as a result of their injury. Unfortunately, properly evaluating a case for settlement is much more complicated than that.
In order to reasonably value a Workers’ Compensation claim, you must know the specific Workers’ Compensation Laws that effect your case and your entitlement to benefits. You must have a realistic understanding of the insurance carrier’s possible exposure in the case and the length of time it may take for the legal process to conclude.
Properly evaluating a case for settlement can only be done by someone who fully understands relevant Workers’ Compensation Laws as well as the practical workings of New York State Workers’ Compensation system.
Another consideration when settling involves the concept of present value versus future value. In many instances a settlement involves a complete buy out of indemnity or lost wages benefits. The insurance carrier is not likely to offer you the full value of your estimated future payments. Instead they will discount that amount significantly. Part of that discount will be a reduction for the present value of the potential future payments.