The majority of the time, when we settle a workers’ compensation case, we resolve both the income benefits and medical benefits portions of the case in a global settlement. However, there are some circumstances where it is more beneficial to settle the income benefits portion only and leave the medical open for the remainder of our client’s lifetime. My clients and I chose to do that in two cases that I recently settled.
The first case involved a young client who had suffered severe burns over 87% of his body. He fought extremely hard and made a phenomenal recovery given the extent of his burns. However, he will never work again and there is no doubt that he will need lifetime medical treatment from a number of specialists. We were able to negotiate a settlement where he received a tax-free lump sum that covered his future indemnity benefits. At the same time, we left medical and rehabilitation services open so that he can continue to treat for his injuries for the rest of his life at the employer/insurer’s expense. A lump sum settlement will enable him to invest the money and utilize it as he sees fit to protect his family for the future.
The second case involved an older gentleman who suffered a Catastrophic traumatic brain injury at work. He will clearly never work again, and he continues to treat with numerous medical providers. My client was very concerned about making sure that his wife was protected in the event that anything happened to him in the future. He chose to resolve the indemnity portion of his case with a structured tax-free settlement. The terms of the settlement will give him (and his wife, if he dies) a guaranteed payout for a period of 20 years. His medical benefits and rehabilitation services will continue to be covered by the employer/insurer for the rest of his life. This settlement gives him financial security as well as peace of mind knowing that all of his future medical and rehabilitation needs will be met.
Every workers’ compensation case is different, and settlements need to be tailored to the unique circumstances that our clients face. At Sadow & Froy, we pride ourselves on coming up with creative settlement solutions for each and every one of our clients.