Can I still sue if I take a settlement?

by Lisa
(Ann Arbor, Michigan)

I was hurt at work in 2008. I also had restrictions for carpel tunnel that were overlooked by my employer. I worked until January 2010. I filed for workers compensation benefits and they are offering me a $6,000 dollar settlement. That would not even cover my medical bills if I was to pay them off.

The insurance company is saying my pre-existing condition has not gotten any worse since the accident. There was one time my carpel tunnel flared up so bad I could not use my right hand. I even needed help in the bathroom due to this! I am feeling this offer for settlement is very unfair.

I need to know if I can file a lawsuit against them for my pain and suffering in addition to the $6,000 they are offering, since they apparently feel I don't deserve workers comp? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I still sue if I take a settlement?":

Lisa (Ann Arbor, Michigan):

The answer is no. That's what Workmans Compensation was created for. Having Workmans Compensation insurance is a "two edged sword". Where workmans compensation insurance is available to employees and they are injured. they don't have to prove their employer was negligent.

This is quite different from non workmans compensation cases where a person is injured. In that type of injury it is crucial the injured party prove the party who caused the injury was negligent. If an employee works for a company which provides workmans compensation insurance and is injured they are prohibited from suing their employer.

As an employee you are bound by the regulations of workmans compensation. Often the settlement offered is not much more than the amount of the medical bills. Because you haven't yet accepted the settlement offer of $6,000 dollars you can still attempt to negotiate a higher amount.

You will need to convince the insurance company your injuries are such that you are still in pain and may continue to be in pain in the future.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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