Is Estimating The Value Of A Settlement Difficult If I’m Totally Disabled?

Is Estimating The Value Of A Settlement Difficult If I'm Totally Disabled?

Question

How do I estimate the value of my settlement if I’m totally disabled?

Answer

This is more difficult to estimate because the employer has to pay indefinitely.

estimating-value-difficult-totally-disabled

The Clock Isn't Ticking

If someone is totally disabled, then estimating the value of a settlement is a bit more difficult. This is because the exposure to the employer is potentially much larger than it would be in the traditional or typical case where a worker is “partially” disabled (and therefore only entitled to weekly checks for 312 weeks or six years). When an employer looks at the exposure on an employee who is totally disabled, the six-year limitation that generally applies to the people who are partially disabled does not apply. That is to say that the six-year clock for the checks is not ticking. Theoretically, an employer has a lifetime of exposure for an employee who is totally disabled, because they will continue to receive weekly checks until they die or until their total disability is removed.

Lump Sum

The other thing that makes the value of a total case larger is the fact that weekly benefit checks will increase over time through the cost of living adjustment (COLA) provisions of the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Act. These provisions provide that employees who have been totally disabled for more than a year will get an annual cost of living adjustment to their weekly check. In a given year, there may be no cost of living increase, and other times it may be as high as four percent or more. On average, though, the exposure to the carrier grows significantly, and almost exponentially if the injured worker outlives their life expectancy. Insurance companies are usually much more motivated to resolve cases like this for a fixed lump sum number.

Win Your Workers' Comp or Personal Injury Case

Does The Date Of My Injury Count Toward My Workers’ Comp Claim?

Is The Date Of The Injury Counted When
Determining Time Lost From Work?

Question

Does the day of my injury count toward my workers’ comp claim?

Answer

The date of the injury is not counted when determining time lost from work. The RI workers’ compensation act says the injury must first prevent you from being able to earn your full wages for more than 3 days.
does-day-injury-count-workers-comp-claim

Is The Injury Compensable?

The date of the injury is not counted when determining time lost from work. When determining whether or not your work-related injury is compensable under the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Act, the law provides that your injury must prevent you from being able to earn your full wages for more than three days. Typically, day one would be the day after your injury or any day after your injury that you officially missed time, without counting the first day.

Win Your Workers' Comp or Personal Injury Case

What Should I Think About Before Settling My Workers’ Comp Case?

What Should I Think About Before Settling
My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Question

What are some things I should consider before settling my workers’ comp claim?

Answer

It is important to do a cost-benefit analysis to figure out if your settlement is worth it.

what-think-about-before-settle-workers-comp-case

The Cost-Benefit Analysis

Before settling your workers’ compensation claim, you should conduct a cost-benefit type of analysis where you consider what monies you are likely to receive in future weekly checks and other benefits to the natural end of your case. If you weigh that amount against what you are being offered in terms of a settlement, you might find that you could potentially recover more in a settlement than what you are likely to collect on a weekly basis if you don’t settle. On the other hand, you may feel that you are likely to collect more money, albeit on a weekly basis, if you do not settle.

It's Not All About Money

Anyone who is considering settling their workers’ compensation case has to consider a lot of things besides the money, such as future medical treatment and whether or not they have a job to return to, or health coverage. At the end of the day, the key factor will be comparing the amount of a settlement to the amount you are likely to collect without a settlement, understanding that it is impossible to know for sure how much that will be.

Win Your Workers' Comp or Personal Injury Case