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Should You Accept a Lump-Sum Settlement After a Workplace Injury?

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, should you accept a lump-sum settlement? Or is it better to receive payments over a period of time?

This is something you will probably want to discuss with an attorney who is familiar with the process for Pennsylvania workers' compensation claims.

This post will set forth some of the basic issues to consider as you weigh your options.

The question of the effect of lump-sum settlements on returning to work has been a source of lively debate between two different points of view. One view is that when an injured worker receives a lump-sum settlement, he or she has less incentive to return to work. This is because there is less immediate need for income after receiving a sizable settlement.

The opposing view is that lump-sum settlements enable workers to gain a sense of security that helps them restart their careers. With a settlement in hand, a worker can pursue retraining or other job opportunities in a more positive way - from a position of relative strength, rather than weakness.

To shed light on the question of how a lump-sum settlement affects injured workers, the Workers Compensation Research Institute conducted a survey. Last week, the WCRI reported the results.

The result of the survey indicated that lump-sum benefits do encourage injured workers to return to work.

Keep in mind, however, that this doesn't mean that a lump-sum payment is or is not the best choice in your specific case. It makes sense to get professional advice and weigh the decision carefully, based on your needs and goals.

Source: "Lump-sum settlements encourage injured employees to return to work: WCRI," Business Insurance, Roberto Ceniceros, 7-11-12

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