You can settle a workers compensation claim. Such agreements in workers compensation are called “Section 32” agreements. If your insurance company wishes and if you agree then you can choose to close the lost wages portion, the medical portion or your whole claim in exchange for a sum of money to be paid. If you close the lost wages portion of your claim you will no longer be entitled to receive any ongoing payments for your time out of work. If you close the medical portion, then you will have to pay future medical expenses yourself.
Normally we do not recommend settling your case until a determination of permanent disability has passed. We also encourage you to speak to a financial planner prior to entering into any agreement closing your claim for good. In cases where settlement is appropriate we will estimate what we think your claim (or what the portion of your claim that is to be closed) is worth, and we will then advise you if we feel any offer from the insurance company is fair. Keep in mind that million dollar settlements are exceptionally rare in workers compensation. There is also no golden rule for how much a claim is worth. If your insurance carrier offers to settle your claim, no matter the amount they offer, you should contact us immediately.
If you do receive a settlement we suggest that you use the money wisely (don’t run off and buy that new monster truck that you’ve been eyeing). Keep in mind that this is all the money you will ever get out of your claim if you chose to close it and if you are permanently disabled then it may have to last you a long time. We frequently get calls from people telling us that they ran out of money from their settlement and now they have to sell their boat, their jet ski and their house because they spent it all. As I noted above you should speak to a financial planner and considering investing the money where it will grow and keep you afloat.
Posted in: Workers Comp