Workmans Comp Settlements
Workmans Comp Laws - Compensation Law and Attorneys

workmans comp settlements are a necessary part of the worker's compensation claim process. The process can become long and complicated and there may be levels of uncertainty which either the employee or the employer feel are risky. If one side of the claim feels that the outcome has become uncertain and wants to take control of their situation, they may suggest a settlement.

If you are an injured worker, It's important to understand that settlements generally require a full compromise and release of your claim. This would mean that you lose wage-loss payments as well as medical benefit payments. Accepting a settlement may seem like a good idea initially, but, your injury may cause ongoing problems and you may have long term costs and expenses that exceed the amount of the settlement.

In most states, settlement amounts are based on the nature of the injury and the ability of the worker to return to some form of work. Workers that have more severe injuries such as back injuries or neck injuries are more likely to receive higher settlement offers compared to workers that have less critical issues.

Laws regarding settlements vary in each state. Here is an example for Iowa which provides six forms of comp settlements

  • Agreement for Settlement - Both the employee and the employer, or insurer, agree upon amount of compensation and submit documents to the Worker's Compensation Commissioner. The employee's future rights are maintained.

  • Compromise Settlement - If both sides are in dispute regarding benefits, a compromise is submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. If the compromise is approved, rights for both sides are forfeited.

  • Contingent Settlement - This commonly occurs when either Medicare or a court ruling must approve the settlement. The settlement is made contingent upon some event.

  • Combination Settlement - This combines using part of the claim as compensable with using a compromise settlement for the remaining portion of the claim.

  • Lump Sum Payments - Iowa does not commonly award lump sum payments. However, there are some instances which are approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.

  • Commutation - This is a lump sum payment. As stated above, this is not common in Iowa. It must be shown that this is in the employee's best interest.

These forms of settlement are for Iowa and the laws differ in each state. Injured workers would likely benefit from the advice of an experienced workers comp attorney when trying to navigate through the laws for workmans comp settlements.

You may find general information for each state in the navigation bar on the left. Make sure you understand the laws for your state and also understand that a settlement is not a decision to made lightly. It's not a "lottery" that has been won. There are many important considerations which may impact your life for years.

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