Settling a Workers’ Compensation Case in Pennsylvania

December 24, 2015

After you have been injured on the job and approved for workers’ compensation you will receive a weekly payment for lost wages, and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will pay your medical expenses. Rather than continue to receive weekly payments, you can choose to settle all or part of your workers’ compensation claim. In Pennsylvania, a lump sum workers’ compensation settlement is referred to as a “Compromise and Release” (C&R). A C&R permits a settlement for just the wage benefits, or both wage benefits and medical benefits. When you opt for a C&R settlement, it is a final settlement after which you will no longer be eligible to receive payment from workers’ compensation. If your injury should worsen and you require surgery or even if you should become disabled from the injury you would not be entitled to any further funds from Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. In settling the case you are essentially closing your workers’ compensation permanently.

Determining the settlement value of a workers’ compensation claim

When you are receiving weekly payments it might seem appealing to receive all of the money up front in a single payment, however, it can be quite a challenge to determine the actual value of your workers’ compensation claim. You would have to take into consideration many different factors that you may not be in a position to figure out yourself. This is why it makes sense to meet with a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your options. While this is likely the first time you are in the position to settle a workers’ compensation claim, an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer has worked with hundreds of clients before you, and is thoroughly familiar with Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law. They also have experience with seeing the long term consequences of settling a claim. An attorney could advise you about the cases similar to yours that they have seen require surgery several months after the initial injury. If that person had settled the case, they would not have had a way to pay for the surgery.

How do you know if it makes sense to settle?

It is not appropriate to settle every workers’ compensation case. This is another time when it is helpful to have the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable attorney. Remember, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is in business to make a profit. Their priority is to make sure they pay you as little as they can get away with. When you have a lawyer on your side who knows the value of your claim and they know how to negotiate with insurance companies you are far more likely to get a more generous settlement than if you were to simply accept whatever amount the insurance company offers in the first round.

If you suffered a workplace injury and now you are wondering about settling your case, you may contact the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates with all of your questions and concerns. We are here to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. We have offices throughout Pennsylvania where we serve clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.