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Alabama Job Injury Attorney Pit Falls of Settlement

Alabama Job Injury Attorney Pit Falls of Settlement

Alabama Job Injury Attorney Pit Falls of Settlement: We have previously posted that no one is entitled to a settlement; a settlement is a meeting of two minds, and as long as you do not control the actions of both parties, then you can't force a settlement. Having stated this, the truth of the matter is that most Alabama workers compensation claims do settle, but there are pitfalls to watch out for in a potential settlement.

The first thing that jumps to my mind is the language in settlement agreements. The phrase "any and all" would prohibit you from pursuing any other benefits you might be entitled to receive, both within the confines of Alabama's Workers' Compensation system and outside of it. This is huge. Settlement documents are generally several pages long and filed with legal language, and a clause like "any and all" can easily be overlooked, especially when you do not understand how all-encompassing this language has been found to be.

Secondly, sometime the employer and/or their workers compensation insurance carrier will refuse to settle your claim (and again, they are under no compulsion to settle any claim) unless you give up certain valuable rights, such as the right to potential future vocational benefits (click here for information on vocational benefits) or your right to future medical benefits. If you have been told that in order to settle your claim you must give up other valuable rights for free, then I would seriously doubt that the settlement is really in your best interest.

Additionally, if as a result of your workplace injury you are permanently disabled, then settling may not be in your best interest in the long run. The way Alabama Workman Compensation laws are written, the court cannot order the defendant to pay you in a lump sum (one large check). All our courts decided is (i) whether you suffered a compensable job injury, and if so, (ii) the percentage of your disability. The defendant can choose to pay you out weekly over the rest of your life should they choose to do so. The workman compensation insurance carrier loves this part of our law, as they realize that paying an injured worker $150,000.00 at one time is an enticing prospect, as opposed to receiving a ttd check for the rest of your life (or until you are no longer disabled). What the disabled worker has to factor in is the value of a weekly check over the remainder of their life--it is much more money than the value of the settlement check. If you are 53 years old and receiving $400 a week from workman comp, then $150,000.00 only represents slightly over 7 years of benefits--in the long run you are being severely short changed and the workman compensation insurance carrier is making off like a bandit. Having stated this, we realize that given your circumstances, it may be in your best interest to accept a lump sum settlement, and at the end of the day, you are the one who decides whether to accept a settlement.

If you were hurt at work and you have questions about your right to Alabama Workers Compensation benefits, don't hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Workers' Compensation Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.

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Alabama Job Injury Attorney Pit Falls of Settlement

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