Lump Sum Settlements for UPS Drivers
As a UPS driver, you face difficult work conditions. You likely need to drive a large truck for long hours, and you may need to carry heavy packages to customers’ doorsteps. As a result of your job, you may suffer a herniated disc, develop a chronic repetitive stress condition or sustain a catastrophic injury in a UPS truck accident. Lump sum settlements for UPS drivers present potential risks. To understand whether accepting a lump sum settlement offer may be in your best interest, you should talk to the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits only partially replace your wages and do not include any compensation for noneconomic injuries. Usually these benefits are paid out over time, with the amount of these benefits depending upon the severity of your injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits you may be able to obtain include the reasonable and necessary cost of medical care, temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. UPS drivers who are permanently unable to drive due to a work injury that left them paralyzed will receive significantly higher benefits than an employee who only suffered a mild disc herniation that requires stay off your feet and medication for two weeks. Often, workers’ compensation benefits, whatever the amount, are paid over the long haul in installments and as needed. However, UPS’s insurer may offer you a lump sum settlement instead.Lump Sum Settlements for UPS Drivers
Lump sum settlements are single payments made to workers’ compensation claimants in lieu of smaller payments made over time. You should not accept a lump sum settlement from an insurer until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the state beyond which you will not improve, even with further treatment. Your treating physician will determine when you’ve reached this state. At the point of maximum medical improvement, you may have achieved a full recovery or still be hampered by a partial or permanent disability.Advantages and Disadvantages of Lump Sum Settlements
Lump sum settlements for UPS drivers carry certain advantages. Some workers prefer to accept a large payout all at once rather than receive smaller payments over time. Additionally, if you are not as badly disabled as your treating physician initially believed, a lump sum settlement could turn into a windfall.
An important caveat is that you could also turn out to be more disabled than your treating physician believed. For instance, if you suffered multiple fractures in a multi-vehicle crash, your treating physician might initially determine you’re only partially disabled. However, you may later discover that you’ve also developed a debilitating form of complex regional pain syndrome. In that situation, if you accepted a lump sum settlement, the insurer would not provide you with further medical care or treatment or offer additional disability pay.
Your lump sum settlement contract needs to be accepted by the Illinois Industrial Commission. Even so, you should discuss the ramifications of the contract with an experienced lawyer, who may be able to negotiate the maximum settlement for your disability payments along with your anticipated medical care or get the agreement tailored to your particular circumstances. For instance, if you are still seeking medical care after returning to full-time work, you may wish to settle your disability pay claim but keep open the medical benefits claim. There may be other aspects of the contract that could be tailored to your particular circumstances.Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney
If you’re a UPS worker who is concerned about taking a lump sum settlement, you should discuss your claim with the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent injured UPS workers in Chicago, Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford, as well as Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.