Whether it is a jury verdict or a settlement, if the claimant is awarded money, it is typically awarded in a lump sum payment. That lump sum payment can be for past lost wages, future lost wages, past medical bills, and future medical bills. Compensation can also cover for past or future pain and suffering, the loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairment, and disfigurement.
Read below for more information about recovering compensation in the Charleston workers’ compensation case. Our seasoned workers’ comp attorneys could help you recover damages if you or a loved one were injured at work.
Options to Recover Compensation
If a settlement is not satisfactory to a claimant, the plaintiff does not need to accept the settlement. Settlement offers are not mandatory. Lawyers do not put pressure on any plaintiff and should give them all of the information to make an informed decision. A lawyer will give them a strong recommendation as to what they need to do, as well as an honest appraisal of risk-reward in a case. At the end of the day, it is the claimant’s case and they make the decision of whether or not they want to settle. The lawyer will carry the task of getting the case resolved or taking the case to trial.
In a trial, if the jury did not give enough in the view of the plaintiff, they can move for what is called additur. This is where the judge may be able to add money to the damages that were awarded by the jury. The defense could ask for a remittitur, which is just a way of saying that they could ask for a reduction in the award for the jury.
Either side could ask for a mistrial where they think some type of evidence was not admitted or some kind of rule was broken by either party that makes the jury prejudiced to the point that they cannot render a fair verdict.
In the event that the jury’s decision is empaneled or entered as a verdict by the judge, then there could be a motion for reconsideration by either party. Typically, the losing party will be asking to reconsider. If the judge denies that motion or will not reconsider, then the next step would be to take the case to an appeal. In South Carolina, a person goes the circuit court to the Court of Appeals first. That is an appellate panel of appellate court judges who would decide the case.
From there, the losing party could then try to petition for certiorari or what they call petition with the Supreme Court. Then, once appeals are exhausted, there will be no compensation or trial order.
The plaintiff, in this case, was satisfied with the settlement. The key to any of these cases is prepare from day one like the case was going to trial, to develop the evidence in real-time, to capture it in a way that you know later you can present it clearly and concisely to be convincing to the fact-finder, whether it be a judge or jury. And, in this case, that is what we did, and it was a hard-fought case, but we were able to take the case to a successful mediation and get a successful result.