DC Workers’ Compensation Settlements

DC workers’ compensation settlements refer to a permanent disability award that employees who are injured on the job receive, typically in a lump sum. The way workers’ compensation works is that the person gets paid on an ongoing basis, so the person gets a certain amount per week or a certain amount per month as well as medical care if it is determined to be reasonable and necessary for the injuries.

A settlement occurs when the person gets a lump sum payment that will end their benefits. For instance, if someone has a permanent partial disability and they get an award that is a lump sum award, it cuts off the benefits moving forward. The person gets a lump sum designed to compensate them permanently. If you are interested in pursuing a workers’ compensation settlement, work with a determined workers’ compensation attorney that can attempt to achieve a positive outcome for you.

Parties Involved in Settling and Their Roles

The parties involved in DC workers’ compensation settlements are the workers’ compensation carrier, the attorney if a person decides to have one, the person, and the employer. The employer generally acts with the insurer.

One party is the payer and one party is the payee. If the person is the one receiving the benefit, they basically agree to end the case. It is like any other settlement. They are agreeing that no further claim lies against them, based on the incident that gave rise to the workers’ compensation claim.

How Settlements Impact Employee Benefits

Typically, DC workers’ compensation settlements end the benefits. If someone makes a settlement, they get a lump sum and that is the extent of what they get. They do not get anything moving forward past the settlement unless the terms of the settlement are such that they stipulate that the person receives the benefits, moving forward.

The assignment of a rating and the rating itself goes to the schedule of disability. By and large, the rating is going to affect the nature of the disability. The rating dictates the value of the injury and whether or not there is going to be a lump sum at the end. By and large, the person gets a lump sum and that ends the benefit.

Why Should an Employee Consider Entering into a Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Once someone knows the nature of their disability and the medical care continues to be determined going forward or is complete to the point they have reached maximum medical improvement, they should start considering the possibility of moving forward with the settlement.

Once someone knows if the disability is permanent (whether partial or total), the person can have an idea of whether it is time to settle the case. They have to wait until they have a full understanding of the nature of the injuries and the long-term prognosis.

What to Include in the Settlement

If there is a need for future medical services, the injured party and their lawyer should ensure that future medical services are covered. They should ensure that they know what they are going to walk away with in terms of the bottom line. They should ensure that the DC workers’ compensation settlement adequately compensates them for their needs going forward to the extent they need such benefits.

Reasons Employers in DC Misclassify Employees As Independent Contractors

If someone is an independent contractor, they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from their “employer.” However, the workers’ compensation system defines “employee” very broadly and often finds a worker to be a covered employee even if the worker himself has signed Independent contractor agreements and gets paid by a 1099. Employers characterize workers as independent contractors as a way to save money, but a good lawyer might be able to show that the person is an employee and thus, entitled to workers’ compensation.

Value of a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

It is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney because the laws of D.C. are unique and distinct. A person needs a lawyer that knows the laws specific to D.C. as opposed to Virginia, Maryland, or any other jurisdictions and can handle DC workers’ compensation settlements.