Workers’ compensation is a system meant to protect workers in the event of an injury or occupational disease that prevents them from working at their full capacity and requires medical care beyond first aid.
Workers’ compensation will generally cover the medical investigations, treatments, and interventions recommended by certified medical professionals. It also pays for the lost hours of work caused by your injuries or disease.
What Is a Workers’ Comp Buyout?
Also known as a lump sum payment or closed medical benefits, a buyout represents a fixed payment you receive from the insurance company instead of monthly payments that last until you reach MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement).
In some cases, the victim might be tempted to accept the lump sum, as a way of dealing with the piling medical bills right away, but this feeling of security might disappear quite fast if the fixed payment is used before your treatments are over.
The main reason why you should not accept a buyout without careful consideration is that the insurance company will generally no longer be liable for your compensation once the buyout settlement is signed. This leaves you uncovered in case you still have to pay for treatments once the lump sum has been used entirely.
With this in mind, it’s clear that such a settlement should be calculated thoroughly to determine a reasonable amount that would cover your future treatments. It’s also wise to work with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer who can tell you about the risks of a lump sum and help you get a reasonable amount that will secure your future.
When to Consider Accepting a Workers’ Comp Buyout?
One very important mention is that the insurance company generally doesn’t have the right to impose a lump sum payment. It’s your decision and it should be weighed very carefully before accepting such a settlement. We strongly recommend only make this decision after consulting an experienced workers’ comp attorney about it.
Some work accident victims decide to go for the lump sum payment instead of the weekly payments because it gives them control over their medical treatment, and frees them from the conditions imposed by insurers when it comes to the doctors they must see, and the types of treatment they receive.
Some states will not allow you to negotiate a buyout when you are permanently disabled, but in Missouri this option is available. Be sure to receive accurate information and estimates on your future treatments and discuss all options with an attorney before agreeing to a lump sum versus weekly payments.
Generally, it’s safe to say that a workers’ comp open compensation plan is safer and offers more advantages than a buyout. To determine if it applies to your case, speak with an experienced St. Louis workers’ comp attorney who can help you determine what is best for your unique situation. Call (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.