Michigan workers’ comp lawyer discusses the workers’ comp settlement process.
Employees who are hurt on-the-job are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. This includes payment of medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and lost wages. Many individuals choose to settle their workers’ comp claims for a lump sum cash payment. This is an attractive option because it lets a person move on with their life and finish medical treatment without interference. Money can be used for any purpose including medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, paying off debt, starting a business, or retirement. All settlements must be approved at a redemption hearing.
What is a redemption hearing?
All workers’ comp settlements must be approved at a redemption hearing. This is when a magistrate reviews medical evidence and other documents. A settlement must be found to serve the purpose of the law, be just and proper, and in best interests. It must be voluntary and legal rights need to have been explained.
In deciding whether to approve or deny a settlement, factors to be considered by the magistrate shall include, but not be limited to, all the following:
- Any other benefits the injured employee is receiving or is entitled to receive and the effect a redemption agreement might have on those benefits.
- The nature and extent of the injuries and disabilities of the employee.
- The age and life expectancy of the injured employee.
- Whether the injured employee has any health, disability, or related insurance.
- The number of dependents of the injured employee.
- The marital status of the injured employee.
- Whether any other person may have any claim on the redemption proceeds.
- The amount of the injured employee’s average monthly expenses.
- The intended use of the redemption proceeds by the injured employee.
Do you need a lawyer at a redemption hearing?
We recommend hiring a lawyer when settling a workers’ comp claim at a redemption hearing. Attorney fees are limited to a small percentage and are easily made up through larger offers. Do not rely upon insurance company lawyers to fully explain legal rights and the consequences of settlement. Just because a magistrate approves a settlement does not mean that it represents maximum value or that problems will not develop in the future.
A workers’ comp lawyer can develop medical and vocational evidence to show a much larger settlement is warranted. A workers’ comp lawyer can also structure the settlement, so that it does not impact other benefits like Social Security Disability or Medicare. It is also possible to negotiate liens, so more money is actually kept.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.