Should I settle my New York Workers’ Compensation case?
One common concern for clients who have been injured on the job is whether they should settle their Workers’ Comp case. Section 32 of the New York State Worker’s Compensation Law provides for full and final settlement of a Worker’s Compensation case including the closure of any and all issues, usually for a lump sum payment. The right to medical treatment in New York never ends. However, with a Section 32 agreement, that right and the right to weekly payments can be terminated for a lump sum payment.
Because New York now restricts the number of years and the amount that a person may receive workers compensation indemnity payments, oftentimes it makes sense to close a case with a lump sum payment. There are many reasons that people decide to close out their case, but the most common is that the person no longer wishes to be responsive to the workers compensation carrier and is ready to move on with their life.
While there is no right to close a case out with a Section 32 agreement, both the insurance company and the injured worker can benefit from settling the case. To close out a case, the settlement requires all parties to come to an agreement as to the amount of compensation due not only for the value of future indemnity payments, but also the value of future medical, which is usually included in the settlement.
Many insurance companies will not agree to close out the indemnity portion of the case without closing the medical side as well. Every claimant in the New York State Workers’ Compensation system has to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to close out their case and particularly their right to medical treatment. An attorney experienced at handling Worker’s Compensation cases can assist the injured worker in deciding whether or not closing out their case is appropriate in their situation.
Settlement of the Worker’s Compensation case is not guaranteed, and often times does not make sense. The injured worker becomes financially responsible for their care. It is possible that the person may eventually be picked up by Medicare, or a private insurer, but there is no guarantee that this will occur.
If you have an open New York Workers Compensation case and wish to have an attorney advise you whether or not settlement is appropriate, please contact the Snyder Law Firm at 315-451-3040 for a free consultation.