If you’ve been permanently injured on the job, can you seek just a Lump Sum payment instead of the weekly checks that are paid by the employer? Hello, my name is Ty Wilson. I’m a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney practicing law in the state of Georgia. And our topic for today is, “Can you seek a lump sum payment instead of weekly payments?” And so this question draws a lot more questions for me initially. But the first thing I would ask you is, “Is this a catastrophic claim?”
When you said permanently injured, is it a catastrophic claim where you’re not able to work in any capacity, whatsoever. And you are receiving the maximum amount of income benefits which currently is $675 that changes often by the way. And so instead of getting paid that $675 a week, you’re looking as if there is a Lump Sum payout. Well that would be, what we call a settlement. And in order to obtain a settlement, both parties have to agree.
We have seen situations in certain scenarios where in a catastrophic claim the insurance company will settle the income benefits or weekly check portion only. And then the medical care will continue to go on. That is dependent upon the insurance company. They could say NO or either want to settle everything or will want to settle nothing. And that just depends on them. And as I said, settlement is, it has to be agreed by both parties. They have to mutually agree to settle the claim.
Now if you don’t have the catastrophic claim, your claim is non-catastrophic, you’re entitled to 400 weeks of income benefits if you’re injured on the job. However, if you’re released a light duty, a light duty could be sedentary duty. We see a lot of situations where doctors will release injured workers to sedentary duty knowing that they probably are not able to work. This is due pressure from the insurance companies.
However, if they do that, you are released then to light duty and it cuts your income benefits from 400 weeks to 350 weeks. For more information on that, you should always reach out and discuss that directly with a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney. And they’ll be able to explain to you, what is called the “change of condition”.
And so, if you have 350 weeks or 400 weeks of income benefits minus what has been paid, does the insurance company want to settle just the income portion with you. Typically the answer is NO. The motivation of the insurance company to wish to settle the claim is to be done with all aspects of the claim. And to close the claim out in its entirety and the bi position of that is medical care.
Is there a possible future surgery? Well, they leave that medical open and there’s still pain. There is always the possibility that things will actually get worse, not necessarily better, and then you might need a surgery. And they’ll be on the hook for that or have to pay for that, if in fact they have not closed that. Their motivation, typically what is called a non-catastrophic claim, is to try to resolve everything, if they want to resolve the case at all.
Once again, both parties must agree. And so, if you have a situation where you have questions specific to that type of scenario, it’s always best to speak with a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney to find out what options are available on the table. We’ll see you on the next video.
For more information, contact us directly.