Padilla Law Group, LLP

How workers' compensation benefits can be paid out

Californians who have been injured on the job know that their finances can take a hit. This can be especially challenging to cope with when one is trying to focus on reclaiming his or her health and get back to work as quickly as possible. Yet, the financial realities of the situation can't be avoided. This is why those who have been hurt in a workplace accident need to carefully consider their legal options.

Although a third-party lawsuit against a negligent individual or company may be justified, this will usually be in conjunction with a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation benefits, when successfully sought, can help an injured worker recover money to offset medical expenses and lost wages. While proving that one qualifies can be difficult enough, even those who wind up receiving benefits have to choose how they want those benefits to be dispersed to them.

There are two ways that workers' compensation benefits can be paid out to an injured worker. The first is through what is called stipulations. Under this approach, an individual agrees on an amount of benefits to be paid, which are then paid out in weekly installments. Necessary medical care is also covered under this approach. The second approach is called a compromise and release. Here, a claimant receives a lump sum payment. While this may be enticing, it can also be risky, as oftentimes expected future medical costs are rolled into that lump sum, meaning that any medical expenses beyond what is paid up front is left to the injured worker.

Those who suffer a workplace injury have a lot to think about. They need to consider the best way to approach a workers' compensation claim, whether a third-party claim is justified, and how, if successful, they want to recoup their losses. Legal strategy and strong arguments play an important role in this process. Therefore, it may be wise to discuss the matter with a qualified legal professional before proceeding.

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