What is a Settlement?
Settlement of a claim is a generally a monetary payout to you to finalise your claim, whether it is a common law claim, workers compensation claim, civil claim, motor vehicle claim or any other matter that has been commenced involving personal injury and loss.
If you have been left with a permanent impairment and/or a continuing incapacity for work you may be entitled to a lump sum payout.
How does Settlement Work?
There are a couple of different ways to settle a workers compensation claim and while there are different methods of doing so the end result is basically the same:
- Either you or the insurer commence negotiations to settle your claim;
- An agreement on the terms of the settlement is reached (this includes when weekly payments and medical expenses stop);
- The appropriate paperwork is prepared and signed by all parties;
- The paperwork is sent to WorkCover for approval; and
- A cheque is eventually sent out and the matter is over.
Of course this is an overly simplified version of events as a lot of work happens between the first mention of a settlement and the cheque clearing in your bank account.
What Do You Need To Be Aware Of When Settling?
If you have an ongoing workers compensation claim and you decide to settle (and it is your decision despite what you may have been told) it will finalise your claim and any future time off work or medical expenses for that injury will need to be covered by you.
Medicare will retain 10% of any settlement sum and return it to you once they have established you did not book any treatment for your injury up to them, if you have they will take that amount of of the sum before they send it back to you.
You also need to be aware of any implications with Social Security, Private Health or salary continuance insurance amongst other things.
If your common law termination date is still live it is likely that any settlement will prevent you from making a common law claim in the event you have reach the 15% whole person impairment threshold (see our Common Law Faq’s here).
How Much Can I Get if I Settle My Claim?
If you claim is settled on the basis of a permanent impairment (PI)(Schedule 2) you will need to be assessed by an Approved Medical Specialist as having suffered a PI and the percentage calculated in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Act to arrive at a monetary figure.
If you settle your claim on a lump sum basis your settlement sum will also include a component for weekly payments and medical expenses.
It is difficult to give you any idea of what you could get as a settlement without having a good look at your claim and all the information available including current capacity, ongoing medical expenses, weekly payments and a range of other stuff.
If you want to settle your claim, or the insurer has offered you a sum, you should give us a call on 08 6143 5200 or Make a FREE On-line Inquiry here and we will be happy to have a look for you and give you an indication on what your claim may really be worth.