What is a Section 32 Settlement?
Section 32 Agreement and Settlement
The duration of your workers' compensation case you will encounter obstacles and opportunities that will need to be carefully evaluated to ensure the best possible outcome for the case as well as for yourself and your wellbeing. One such item to become familiar with and what they mean for your case is Section 32 Settlement.
What is a Section 32 Settlement
Negotiated between the injured worker and the insurance carrier, a Section 32 Settlement will settle the indemnity and/or medical benefits of the workers' claim. This agreement would end the right of the injured worker to receive ongoing and future benefits in exchange for a lump sum payout or an annuity. Once agreed upon and approved by the Workers' Compensation Board, the agreed upon settlement (whether it's indemnity and/or medical benefits) is then closed indefinitely. Once this happens, the insurance carrier will no longer hold responsibility for their part of the claim. In the instance where indemnity benefits are settled, the reoccurring payments for lost wages will cease. Cases where medical benefits are settled, the insurance carrier will no longer pay for the injured workers' medical care. It should be noted that a Section 32 Settlement is not binding unless it has been approved by the Workers' Compensation Board.
There are cases where the Board will use a desk review process as authorized by Rule 300.36(e) to review Section 32 Waiver Agreements which would ultimately end in approval or disapproval. These instances include:
- Cases that are settling indemnity only and the injured worker (other than a minor dependent) is represented by an attorney, or
- When all parties in the case request a desk review.
The Board would review other settlement requests through a hearing process.
Deciding if Settling is Right for Your Workers' Comp Case
There are pros and cons supporting both sides of a Section 32 Settlement; to properly evaluate both sides and determine which is best for your situation you are advised to discuss the settlement with your medical professional as well as your workers' comp attorney. For example, a settlement could be proposed for an injured worker seeking payments for an amount the insurance carrier feels is too high. In this instance, the carrier could offer to settle for an amount that is less than what the injured party is searching for. No matter the proposed settlement, injured workers are advised to consult with their workers' comp health care provider in addition to their attorney.
Our workers' compensation attorneys have a thorough understanding of the laws surrounding workers' comp cases and have the knowledge to help you achieve a positive outcome with your case. The attorneys of Erwin, McCane & Daly offer a free initial consultation at which time we will give an unbiased assessment of your case.
Schedule your consultation today so we can begin working on your case and getting you back on the road to recovery.