Not only do I frequently get asked if a workers’ compensation settlement, or otherwise known as, a compromise and release agreement, is right for a specific client, but also, what types of workers’ compensation settlements are even available. This post will explore what I see as the three type of compromise and release agreements for settling your workers’ compensation claim.
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Three Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Wage Loss Only
This type of settlement fully settles your wage loss benefit only. What does that mean? It means that any entitlement to or if you are receiving weekly or biweekly wage loss benefits, after agreeing to a lump sum amount of money, you will no longer receive those checks or be entitled to any workers compensation disability benefits.
However, your entitlement to medical benefits is unaffected in this type of settlement. That means your right to have medical bills related to your work injury paid by the workers compensation insurance carrier continues indefinitely into the future until otherwise settled or terminated by a Workers’ Compensation Judge.
This type of settlement is usually limited to very severe injuries where medical treatment will be required for a substantial period of time, perhaps for the rest of the injured workers’ life. It is also rare. Quite frankly, when an insurance carrier wises to settle, they wish to settle all benefits to get rid of any liability. Just because you may need some prescription medications for the rest of your life does not means an insurance carrier would be willing to settle your case with this structure of settlement.
Wage Loss with Open Medical Period
This type of settlement fully settles your workers compensation disability payments, your weekly or biweekly payments, and keeps your medical benefits open for either a specific period of time or for a specific medical procedure. Usually, a specific period of time is for one year or six months. An insurance carrier may be willing to enter this type of settlement because it sees an end to liability in the future. It is usually also the type of settlement where there is interest in resolving the wage loss benefits from both the injured worker and the insurance carrier, but there is a scheduled surgery or procedure.
Therefore, the insurance carrier is willing to allow benefits open for a period of time to include the scheduled surgery/procedure and followup treatment to that surgery/procedure. It can also be used when there is a foreseeable end to treatment, say, six months of physical therapy. Additionally, an insurance carrier may agree to keep medical open for surgery specified in the agreement and any follow up treatment as it relates only to that surgery. Again, an insurance carrier may be willing to enter this type of agreement because they see an end to liability on the horizon. It is important that you speak to Mooney & Associates before agreeing to any settlement offered by the insurance carrier.
Full Compromise and Release
This is the most common type of workers compensation settlement and the type of settlement that insurance carrier’s prefer. This type of settlement settles all of your workers’ compensation benefits, both wage loss and medical benefits. It is important that you confer with us here at Mooney & Associates to ensure this settlement is right for you and your future needs. It’s crucial that you remember that when you agree to a full and final compromise and release agreement, you are agreeing that you will not be entitled to future wage loss or medical benefits as related to your work injury. Ever.
Even if your condition worsens, once you agree to a compromise and release agreement, you are on your own. You can never go back on your Employer or Insurance carrier. That is why it is absolutely critical for you to seeks consultation with us. We can help you determine if this settlement is appropriate for you and if so, negotiate a fair, reasonable lump sum. If you get contacted by your insurance carrier with an offer to settle, you should contact Mooney & Associates right away. Don’t settle before meeting with us.
Settlements are not right for everyone. We will look in a later post on some factors on whether settlement may be right for you.
Count on Mooney
If you sustain an injury at work and need to file for benefits – count on Mooney. We’ll help you understand the settlements and negotiate with insurance companies to earn the settlement you deserve. We have represented injured workers throughout central Pennsylvania, including:
- New Oxford