Workers’ compensation claims in Georgia do not have to end with a lump sum settlement. Judges at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation do not have the authority to decide that your case has a lump sum value.
Instead, cases settle when you and your employer’s insurance company agree on a lump sum figure.
As your attorney, I will put together a settlement demand based on a variety of factors and my 25+ years’ of experience representing injured workers like you. Some of the factors I consider include:
anticipated future medical costs – if the insurance company does not settle, it will be responsible for future medical costs such as surgery, post-surgery rehabilitation, medications and on-going treatment
future weekly wage benefits – in non-catastrophic cases, the insurance company could be liable for up to 400 weeks of TTD weekly wage benefits. If you have been out of work for 1 year (52) weeks, for example, the insurance company could be liable for up to 348 more weeks of TTD payments
future mileage reimbursement – the insurance company has to reimburse you for mileage to and from the doctor. These costs are not huge but they do add up
likelihood of a high PPD rating – when you reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI), your treating doctor will assign a permanent partial disability rating (PPD rating) to your case. Depending on your weekly wage rate, this PPD number could total tens of thousands of dollars and will be factored into our settlement demand
Other factors come into play based on my experience and the specifics of your case. These I will discuss with you confidentially as we prepare our demand package.
Mediations Often Used to Facilitate Settlement
Sometimes I am able to negotiate a settlement directly with the insurance adjuster or insurance company lawyer, but often, we use the mediation process to make settlements happen. Mediations have the advantage of putting everyone in the same place with a neutral third party who can help both sides get past negotiation roadblocks.