Study Finds Lump Sum Settlements Help Workers Return To The Job

A new study by the Workers' Compensation Research Institute has found that lump sum workers' compensation settlements may help injured employees return to the workforce. The study helps put to rest the controversy over the effectiveness of lump sum awards.

Lump Sum Settlement Payments

Lump sum workers' compensation settlement payments help injured workers and their families cover medical costs and other expenses for recuperation and support the rehabilitation process that allows workers to return to their jobs. It also helps bring closure for these employees so they can move on to new job duties or return to their old positions.

The Lump Sum Payment Study

The recent study looked at the work history of over 2,000 injured Michigan workers who received lump sum settlements in 2004. Researchers checked in on their employment history in 2008 and found that 78 percent did not change their employment statuses between the time of their injuries and 2008. This means that most workers who were employed at the time of the accident were employed four years later, or that workers who were unemployed at the time of the accident remained so in 2008.

Nearly half of the workers whose employment statuses changed during the four-year period either left their previous job or became employed.

The Workers' Compensation Claims Process

In New York, workers must inform their employers of their workplace injuries or illnesses as soon as possible and provide written notice within 30 days. Within two days of the incident, a doctor must complete and mail a medical report to one of New York's Workers' Compensation Board's district offices. Within 10 days, an employer must notify the Board and the employer's insurance company.

Within 18 days of the employer filing the accident report, its insurer must begin workers' compensation benefit payments. From then on, medical progress reports must be submitted and a plan for rehabilitation developed, if necessary. In some circumstances, lump sum benefits may be provided to workers, especially those that are permanently disabled.

Since the workers' compensation claims process is complicated, it may be beneficial for an injured worker to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can make sure the claims process works in the best interest of the injured worker. If you or a loved one has been injured at work and believe a lump sum settlement will help you meet your financial needs, please contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney to explore your options.