How to Settle Your Worker’s Comp Claim

When you have a worker’s compensation case, you may be wondering how to settle your claim, how long it will take and how much money you might expect to receive. Let’s go over some of the basic information. There are two common ways to reach a worker’s comp settlement.

The first one is called a Stipulated Award. The second is in the form of a Compromise and Release.

What is the difference between these worker’s comp settlement agreements?

  • Stipulated Award
  • Compromise and Release

What is a Stipulated Award?

A Stipulated Award is where everyone – you and the insurance company – agree on the terms of your permanent disability. This settlement agreement means you keep your right to future doctor visits and medical treatment related to your injury. The bills will be paid by your employer’s worker’s comp insurance. In this case, you receive payments over a period of time. The amount of these payments is set by your disability rating, which depends on the type and severity of the injury you suffered. These payments will end at a date sometime in the future. The payments must start within 30 days of a Worker’s Compensation Appeals Judge approving the stipulated award.

What is a Compromise and Release?

How to settle your worker's comp claimIn this type of worker’s comp settlement, you will receive a lump sum payment from the insurance company, and will be responsible for your own future medical care. This means a total settlement value, based on the level of your permanent disability, your medical reports and an estimated value of all future medical care. This form of resolution will close the case forever. There will be no future medical care provided since you will receive compensation for this in your settlement. The payment must be made within 30 days of the Judge signing the order approving the compromise and release.  A Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board Judge must approve the settlement. This lump sum agreement is not always possible, if you plan to continue working with the same employer.

While the choice between these two types of worker’s comp settlement agreements may sound simple, you’ll probably want to learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of each, since they can have long-term impact.

Before making your decision about which of these options is the best for you, I’d be happy to talk with you further about these two methods of settlement, and your specific worker’s compensation claim.