If you’ve been injured on the job in New York and have suffered a permanent injury, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of workers’ compensation benefits. In a lump sum workers’ compensation award, also known a Section 32 Agreement, the injured employee receives one cash payment instead of multiple smaller payments over time. A lump sum award may be the best-case scenario for you. However, a lump sum settlement isn’t always in your best interest.
Discuss Your Case With an Experienced New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney
At the Law Offices of Frank J. Dito, Jr., we can help you determine whether seeking a lump sum settlement for your injury is the course of action that works best for you. Attorney Frank J. Dito, Jr., has extensive experience helping injured New York workers seek the financial relief they deserve through workers’ compensation benefits. If you’ve been injured on the job in New York, contact the Law Offices of Frank J. Dito, Jr. today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What Is a Lump Sum Settlement?
Lump sum settlements are also called Section 32 settlements in New York. A lump sum settlement is an agreement between an injured worker and their employer’s Insurance Company. In some cases, the lump sum settlement will be in agreement between the injured worker and a third-party administrator responsible for processing workers’ compensation payments. Lump sum settlements are mutually agreed-upon contracts between the employer and the injured employee.
In a Section 32 settlement, the employer, typically through their insurance company, will give the employee a one-time, lump sum settlement. The settlement is usually tax-free. In exchange, the employee will agree to resolve some aspects of their workers’ compensation case. Instead of receiving weekly payments that may continue over a lengthy period, the employee agrees to accept a lump sum of money in a one-time payment. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board must approve all Section 32 settlements.
Obtaining a Section 32 Settlement After a Workers’ Compensation Injury
In New York, nearly all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When one of their employees becomes injured on the job, these benefits will pay for the employee’s medical care and a portion of their lost income. If you have been injured on the job and you would like to apply for benefits, you will need to follow the step-by-step procedures. If you have questions about obtaining benefits, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney. If you do not file your notice of claim in time or don’t file the correct paperwork, your claim could be denied.
The first step in any workers’ compensation case is to immediately notify your employer, either by speaking to them about your accident or filing a written report. My firm recommends that you file a formal Employee Claim (C-3) with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to have your claim before a workers’ compensation law judge. Failure to give proper notice or file the required paperwork may result in a denial of your request for benefits. It’s crucial that you take these steps on time.
The Workers’ Compensation Law requires every insurance carrier to offer each claimant the opportunity to enter into a Section 32 agreement settling upon and determining the compensation and other benefits due, in the case of disability, within two years after the date the claim was indexed by the board or six months after the claimant is classified with a permanent disability, whichever is later.
Should I Accept a Lump Sum Payment?
If you’ve sustained a serious workplace injury that will affect you for the rest of your life, the Workers Compensation Board may offer you a one-time, lump sum settlement. Accepting this award can be tempting, especially if you have mounting medical bills and cannot return to work. Before you accept a lump sum settlement, it’s important to consider that when you accept the lump sum settlement, you forgo your right to any additional compensation. In many cases, you will also be forfeiting your right to obtain any future coverage for medical treatment through workers’ compensation benefits.
The Advantages of Accepting a Section 32 Settlement in New York
For injured workers without any outstanding liens or legal judgments, accepting a lump sum award is often the best way to maximize the potential of their claim. The employee and the employer will agree upon the lump sum settlement. As a result, the Section 32 settlement can avoid and bypass litigation. When a person has been seriously injured, the thought of going through litigation that could take years can be overwhelming and may not be the best scenario for them and their family.
Accepting a lump sum settlement can help an injured employee who was struggling to pay their mounting bills to pay their bills quickly. Finally, accepting a lump sum settlement eliminates the chance that the employee could lose if the case proceeds to a workers’ compensation hearing.
The Disadvantages of Accepting a Section 32 Settlement in New York
Some dangers come with accepting a lump sum settlement as well. In most cases, accepting a lump sum settlement will permanently end the workers’ compensation claim. The worker will not get a better settlement in the future. If the lump sum settlement amount isn’t enough to cover the employee’s future medical expenses, he or she may run out of money in the lump sum settlement too quickly. As a result, the worker may not have any income available due to being unable to work, making it impossible to pay his or her bills.
Learn More About Section 32 Lump Sum Settlements By Contacting Our Firm
Have you suffered a workplace injury in New York? Do you have questions about whether you should accept a lump sum settlement? If so, you are not alone. Attorney Frank J. Dito, Jr. can help you understand your legal options, answer any questions you have, and advocate for obtaining the total amount of compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Frank J. Dito, Jr. today to speak with an experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney.