Settlement

There are two different types of settlements in workers’ compensation cases: (1) Compromise and Release (C&R); (2) Stipulations with Request for Award (Stip).

It is critical that you understand the difference between these two types of settlements.  It is also important that you understand that you may not have a choice to settle your case by way of C&R if you continue to work for the same employer where you were injured.

There is nothing in the law that forces the insurance company to settle with you by way of C&R.  There is also nothing in the law that establishes the amount you must be paid to settle your future medical rights.  The judge does not have the power to force the insurance company to pay you any particular amount to settle your future medical rights.

Stipulations with Request for Award:

A Stip is an agreement between you and the insurance company to settle your permanent disability for a certain amount.  The insurance company continues to be responsible for your future medical care as long as it is required.  However, you will not receive a lump sum settlement.  Your settlement will be paid to you every two weeks until the permanent disability is paid in full.  The amount of your payments depends upon your date of injury, earnings and percentage of disability.

In addition, when you settle by way of Stip, and your condition worsens over time, you have the right to request additional workers’ compensation benefits provided that you file a Petition for New and Further Disability within five (5) years after the date of injury. 

Compromise and Release:

A C&R is an agreement between you and the insurance company to settle all of your rights, including medical care, for a certain amount.  If you choose to settle your case by way of C&R, your settlement will be paid to you as a lump sum.  This type of settlement should be for a lot more money than a Stip.  This is because in addition to permanent disability, the settlement relieves the insurance company of its obligation to pay for your future medical care as well as other benefits you are entitled to under the law.

How do you determine whether or not a settlement offer is reasonable?

You probably have no idea what medical care you will require in the future or what it will cost.  It is important that you contact an attorney to discuss your rights.  An attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation will be able to determine whether the settlement offer that is being made to you is reasonable and can help you think about some of the issues you may not have considered.         

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