Should I Settle my Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Case?
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation settlements are entirely voluntary. Workers’ compensation settlements require an injured worker and their employer and/or their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to agree on the terms and conditions of the settlement. Workers’ compensation settlement negotiations focus heavily on two components:
- The amount of a lump sum payment; and
- How long the employer/insurance carrier will continue to pay for an injured worker’s work related medical expenses.
An injured worker should not complete their assessment as to whether or not to settle their workers’ compensation case based only on these two components.
An injured worker must take many factors into consideration before determining whether settlement of their workers’ compensation may be in their best interest. The terms of a workers’ comp settlement are reduced to writing in a document known as a Compromise and Release Agreement. An injured worker wishing to settle their work comp claim will be required to testify in front of a workers’ compensation judge. The workers’ compensation judge will then make a determination as to whether or not the injured worker understands the rights they are giving up in exchange for the settlement.
Once a workers’ compensation settlement has been approved by a workers’ compensation judge the terms of the settlement are final. An injured worker should never settle their workers’ compensation case before first consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Settlement of a workers’ compensation requires much more consideration than just a dollar figure. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will guarantee that all factors have been given proper consideration prior to the workers’ compensation settlement being finalized.
More importantly an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to explain to an injured worker how settlement of their workers’ compensation will affect other benefits (i.e. Social Security Disability, Pension, Social Security Retirement, Medicare, Medicaid) or claims (i.e. Third Party – Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, Social Security Retirement, Unemployment Compensation, Wage and Hour, Discrimination, ADA) the injured worker may currently have or will seek in the future.
Contact one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorney’s for a free, no obligation, meeting to discuss whether and under what terms settlement of your workers’ compensation claim is the right decision for your and your family’s future.