Monday, January 23, 2012
How & Whys of Minnesota Work Comp Settlements
How do settlements work? Though insurance companies have been known to quickly attempt settlements after an employee is injured, the more common scenario occurs after a claim has been paid and then a portion or all of the claim is denied. Settlements also can occur after your attorney sues the insurance company to pay your benefits. It is extremely important if you are unrepresented to at least have an attorney review the settlement agreement to be sure you are getting the deal that was promised. On many occasions I have also been able to obtain additional settlement money for clients. On one occasion we obtained over $60,000 in additional money only a few weeks after an insurance adjuster made a "final offer" to our client. Not only did we obtain additional money for our client but we negotiated better settlement terms by leaving open future medical benefits for him as well.
Once the settlement agreement is reached the parties draft what is called a Stipulation for Settlement. This is a very important document that is signed by all parties and then approved by a workers compensation administrative law judge from the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. This entire portion of the process can take from 2 weeks to a few months depending on the number of parties and issues involved. After the stipulation for settlement is completed and signed by all parties, it is submitted to the judge who issues an Award on Stipulation. This is an Order and the work comp insurance company must MAIL payment within 14 calendar days. The vast majority of payments go directly the injured worker within two weeks of the judge's Order.
You only have one chance to negotiate you settlement and doing so without a lawyer is just plain crazy. I have seen many adjusters take advantage of workers by explaining the reasons behind the settlement value without ever telling them what they are really giving up in exchange. Contact the lawyers at Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Office today to see how we can assist you with you claim. We assist hundreds of injured workers every year in obtaining the best results for their family given their unique situations. We meet with clients across the entire state of Minnesota. Contact us toll free at 800-933-5619 or 651-333-3636. Feel free to visit our other website www.mndisability.com for additional information.