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Types Of Settlements In Workers’ Compensation Claims

Even though many workers are not aware of it, workers’ compensation claim can be settled in a number of different ways. Those options are: compromise and release, stipulation with awards and commutation. In this informational article we will provide a general overview of these settlements. To get more information relevant for your case it would be best if you contacted an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in the area you live.

Compromise and release

When the injured worker agrees to the C&R settlement, they agree to get a one-time payment as compensation for their losses and they cannot reopen the case in the future, nor can they get any additional benefits. This route can be suitable when the worker has personal health insurance and is willing to cover their medical treatment on their own. On the plus side, the amount the worker gets this way can be larger than in settlements through stipulation and award, which includes future care benefits also. The physician makes an estimate how much medical care the worker is likely to need in the future.

Structured settlement

If the claim is settled in this way, the worker gets payments which are spread out over time, rather than awarded in a lump sum. It’s similar to Compromise and Release in that it also closes the case for future reopening. The insurance company is not responsible for covering any future medical care expenses. Sometimes, the insurance carrier will buy an annuity for the worker in order to make the payments.

Stipulation and award

The main advantage of this settlement type is that the worker is allowed to reopen the claim in the future if their condition worsens. To be precise, they can reopen the claim in the period of five years after the date of the injury. If five years pass without a reopening, the benefits are final. The findings of the treating doctor are taken as a guide to determine the amount of periodic payments. The doctor determines the level of disability (temporary or permanent) and expresses it in percentage. The percentage is then applied to the injured worker’s earnings to arrive at the amount of money to be paid. If the parties choose this form of settlement, the employee is typically required to get medical treatment from the healthcare providers’ network approved by the employer’s insurance carrier.

Commutation

This form of settlement is not available in all states and it’s not very common. It is a lump sum payment of future benefits. The state’s Workers’ Compensation Commissioner approves this settlement and determines whether the payment will be made in full or partially. If full commutation is awarded, the employee receives a one-time lump sum payment of future benefits and cannot demand any more benefits for future medical care. When partial commutation is given, the employee still has the right to request benefits for future medical care if they need additional payments.

Seek the help of workers’ compensation lawyer

If you or your loved one have experienced a work-related injury, it’s best that you get the help and professional guidance of an experienced work comp lawyer. You have rights and hiring the services of a legal professional will ensure you get the maximum benefits you deserve. Don’t be a victim! Don’t risk your health and well-being. Get in touch with a work injury attorney who will fight for your rights fiercely and ethically!

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