One of the unique issues facing injured state employee is the bargaining position of the Attorney General’s (AG) office. In catastrophic injuries (usually permanent total disability claims) the state has a negotiating cap of $149,999.99. The assistant AGs do not have authority to offer more than that amount to settle no matter how injured the employee might be. They often will pay all of the TTD and medical bills, but they will not offer more in a lump sum. The reason for the cap is to take advantage of an employee’s desire for a lump sum settlement…a pile of money at once. Employees who accept the maximum without having adequate sources of future income might be making a terrible mistake. Beware: lawyers often push the client into the lump sum because the lawyer wants a lump sum attorney’s fee as well.
Be careful. Do the math. Be certain you have an alternative income stream before you take (and spend) the lump sum. We have several of these cases. In each case to we are instructing our clients that it’s in their long term best interests to try for a permanent total disability award which will pay them their TTD rate for the rest of their lives, so long as they have the disability. In this instance the lawyer gets every 5th check or 20% of every check for 365 weeks. It might not be sexy or exciting to take a lifetime weekly award over the lump sum payment…but it’s often the smartest decision. Talk to a lawyer!!!
If you have questions about workers’ compensation law then call the Law Office of Keith Short, P.C. 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055.