If I have a worker’s comp claim and the insurance is asking if I would be interested in settling out my claim, what I should ask for?

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If I have a worker’s comp claim and the insurance is asking if I would be interested in settling out my claim, what I should ask for?

Asked on December 12, 2014 under Personal Injury, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, when settling a personal injury claim of any kind, you start with the most you could possiblyget if you sued and won, then discount that amount by 1/3 to 2/3 (to reflect that you are getting the money sooner, without extensive legal fees, and on a guaranteed basis--you start with less of a discount and then see if there is some level you and the insurer can both agree to).

The most you would get if you were to sue and win is the sum of:

1) Your out-of-pocket medical bills to date, and anticipated future medical bills;

2) Lost wages, if any;

3) Other necessary out of pocket costs (e.g. does the injury require you to hire someone to clean house for you?); and

4) If you experience long-term disabilty or impairment of life functions, you might get "pain and suffering" in an amount (depending on severity and duration) of anywhere from 1/2 your medical bills to 3x your medical bills.

That's the most a claim would be worth typically. As stated, if you settle the claim, you accept a fraction or portion of that--as much as you can get the insurer or other party to agree to--because you are getting the money fast, without an expensive fight; and also to give them an incentive to settle. Figure out the least you'll accept; try to get more than that, of course, but if the insurer won't pay your minimum, you probably can't settle.


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