In the realm of Florida workers’ compensation claims, understanding the value of lifetime medical benefits is crucial. You must give up lifetime medical benefits if you settle your workers’ compensation case for a lump sum. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of each.
Lifetime Medical Benefits
Lifetime medical benefits, a key aspect of workers’ compensation, ensure that your medical costs are covered for the duration of your need if you suffer a workplace injury. This coverage extends to a wide range of medical services.
Here’s a more detailed look at the factors influencing the value of Future Medical Care (FMC):
- Age: Younger individuals, due to their longer life expectancy, may require extended periods of FMC, increasing its value.
- Cost of FMC: If the defense has incurred substantial costs for your medical care, it could indicate high future costs, thereby increasing the value of your FMC.
- Future Surgical Requirements: The potential need for future surgeries can significantly increase the value of your FMC due to the high costs associated with surgical procedures.
- Condition Deterioration: If your condition is predicted to worsen, it could lead to more intensive and frequent medical care, thus escalating the costs covered by the insurance company.
While lifetime medical benefits cover all reasonable and necessary treatment related to the work injury, you may need to demonstrate that your treatment is reasonable, necessary, and related to your work injury.
If you settle your workers’ compensation claim for a lump sum, you forfeit your lifetime medical benefits in exchange for a lump sum of money. After that point, you will be responsible for your own medical costs.
Lump Sum Settlement vs. Lifetime Medical Benefits
Choosing between a lump sum settlement and lifetime medical benefits involves weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Advantages of a Lump Sum Settlement:
- Elimination of approval wait times: Once you settle the claim, you gain control over your medical care, eliminating the need for approval from the workers’ compensation insurance company.
- Choice of healthcare provider: After settling, you can choose any doctor you prefer for your medical care.
- Immediate payment: Instead of the workers’ compensation insurance company paying for your medical care, they provide you with a lump sum payment.
Disadvantages of a Lump Sum Settlement:
- Potential job resignation: Accepting a lump sum settlement may require you to resign from your job.
- Loss of future benefits: If complications arise later, you forfeit your right to any future benefits.
Advantages of Lifetime Medical Benefits:
Lifetime Medical Benefits cover all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalization services related to the work injury. This means that an injured worker can receive medical care for his or her injuries, regardless of how long it takes to recover.
Medical expenses can be overwhelming, especially for severe injuries. With Lifetime Medical Benefits, injured workers don’t have to worry about these costs. The insurance company is responsible for these expenses, providing financial security to the injured worker and their family.
Access to Quality Care
Lifetime Medical Benefits ensure that injured workers have access to quality medical care. They can receive treatment from specialists who understand their specific injuries and can provide the best possible care.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that medical expenses related to a work injury will be covered for a lifetime can provide significant peace of mind for injured workers. They can focus on recovery without worrying about how to pay for their medical care.
Disadvantages of Lifetime Medical Benefits:
- Proving treatment necessity: You will need to demonstrate that any treatment you require is reasonable, necessary, and related to your work injury.
Call Our Experienced Florida Workers Comp Lawyers
The process of determining the worth of lifetime medical benefits in Florida involves numerous factors and complexities. It’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through this process and help you make an informed decision.
Every workers’ comp claim is unique, and what works best for one person may not be the best option for another. Stay informed so you can make a decision about what is right for you by contacting Work Injury Rights at 954-833-5226 for a free consultation.