In our Georgia workers’ compensation practice, injured workers often ask, “when is the right time to settle my workers’ compensation claim?” As the workers’ compensation scheme pays for medical treatment, it is often recommended that you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) prior to settling your case. In cases where you are not at MMI, the future costs of medical treatment may consume your entire settlement funds.
When considering resolution of your comp claim, you should consult with your workers’ compensation attorney in addition to speaking with your medical providers. Specifically, we recommend you determine the following:
- what future medical treatment will be necessary;
- what is the cost of future treatment; and
- whether you will be able to return to gainful employment.
An attorney at the Ramos Law Firm I can assist in evaluating a claim to determine how a settlement will impact your ability to seek future medical treatment, return to work, and qualify for Medicare or Social Security Disability.
In some instances, it may be a good idea to secure a Functional Capacity Evaluation or an Independent Medical Evaluation (second opinion) to assist you with determining your future medical care. A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) consists of a comprehensive set of performance based tests, which are used to determine ability to work, ability to carry out daily living activities and ability to engage in leisure activities. Whereas, an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) is an exam by an independent medical doctor who will determine whether you can return to work, are fit for full or light duty work, or if there is an impairment rating. Often times, an FCE or IME, will assist in projecting the settlement value of the claim.
Remember, there is no exact formula to calculating the value of a claim. However, the settlement value of a claim may be maximized by working with an attorney and medical providers who are familiar with the evaluation of workers’ compensation claims.