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Understanding a Section 32 Settlement

Erwin, McCane & Daly | Friday, February 22, 2019

While a workers’ compensation case can be cut and dry, often it is complicated and leaves you with many questions. One question that may come up during your case is a Section 32 Settlement.

A Section 32 Settlement is negotiated between the injured worker and the insurance carrier. It serves to settle the indemnity and/or medical benefits of the workers’ claim. What many don’t realize is that there are two possible outcomes for a Section 32 Settlement; a one-time settlement or the closure of one part of the settlement while the other remains open.

If the former happens, a one-time settlement of lost wages and medical will be negotiated by the insurance company and you attorney and your case will be closed. If your condition worsens and more treatment is required, the cost will come out of your own pocket. The decision to accept a Section 32 Settlement is a serious one and should be thought about carefully. Closing both parts of a case is only recommended when the medical expenses are routine and easily calculated.

If your injury is extensive or you know you will need future medical treatment, it is wise to leave the medical portion of the case open. Any lost wages will be settled while allowing for future medical benefits to be paid. It ends your right to weekly payments in exchange for one lump sum, so you should budget the payment before agreeing to it.

Once the terms of agreement are agreed upon between you and the insurer, the agreement is brought to the Board for approval. However, it’s important to note that the Board does not negotiate terms. It’s also important to know that a Section 32 Settlement cannot be reopened. Whatever is negotiated and agreed upon is permanently settled.

Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable about Section 32 Settlements and offer a free initial consultation. Schedule your consultation today so we can begin working on your case!