If you’ve filed a workers’ comp claim after a work-related injury in New Jersey, the insurance company may offer you a settlement for your claim. It is very important to weigh your options and understand your rights before you accept a settlement.
For advice on your workers’ comp claim and whether the offered settlement is right for you, speak to a New Jersey lawyer with experience handling workers’ compensation cases. When you talk to your lawyer, you’ll want to keep several key points in mind. For instance, you may find it useful to understand:
A New Jersey Workers’ Comp Settlement Is a Type of Trade
When you settle a workers’ comp claim in NJ, you receive an agreed-upon sum of money, but you give up certain benefits. Your payment might be one lump sum, or it might be paid in installments. Either way, you agree not to seek any other workers’ comp benefits, now or in the future, except for that lump sum.
Section 20 or Section 22 Settlement?
In New Jersey, there are typically two types of workers’ compensation settlements: Section 20 and Section 22.
Section 20 settlements are typically used in disputed or denied claims. In exchange for a lump sum, you agree to give up your right to benefits like future medical care. You won’t be able to reopen your claim, even if your condition gets worse.
Unlike a Section 20 claim, a Section 22 settlement can be used even if the insurance company has accepted your claim. In a Section 22 settlement, you and the insurer agree on a specific permanent disability rating, and you receive permanent disability benefits based on that rating. You don’t give up your right to future medical care, and you can reopen your claim if your condition gets worse within two years of the last settlement payment.
You Can Settle a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Claim at Any Time
New Jersey doesn’t limit the amount of time you have to settle a workers’ comp claim. You can enter a settlement at any point in your claim. Most workers, however, choose to wait until they’ve reached maximum medical improvement, or MMI, meaning that your doctor believes your condition is as good as it will get even with further treatment. Your lawyer can help you understand the specific benefits and risks of settling before or after you reach MMI.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Edison, NJ
The top-rated trial attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi fight for our personal injury clients in New Jersey. If you’ve been injured and need legal help, call our office today at 866.523.3121 to schedule a free initial consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.