Are you feeling pressure to accept a workers’ compensation settlement offer made by the insurance company? Do you have questions about settling your case? Concerns and questions about settlement are common among workers’ compensation applicants, especially those without lawyers. When you need help navigating the workers’ compensation system, speak to a professional and get insight on your case. In the meantime, here are some settlement basics.
What Is a Settlement?
A settlement is an agreement between you and the insurance company (and the employer) to resolve all or part of your workers’ compensation claim. In Minnesota, you must sign a written agreement and have it approved by a workers’ compensation judge to officially settle the case. Settlements usually require you to give up your rights to receive past or future workers compensation benefits for the specific workplace injury you received. In a settlement agreement (also called a Stipulation for Settlement), you may retain the right to medical benefits into the future in some situations.
Is a Settlement Different than Going to a Hearing?
Yes, a settlement wraps up your case before you participate in a hearing before a judge. A hearing in the workers’ comp system is like a court trial at which you present your case for benefits. A settlement often results in money or benefits being paid by the insurance company without any court ruling on the merits of your workers’ comp claim.
Why Should I Settle or Not Settle My Case?
There are many reasons why you might choose to settle or not settle. These reasons vary widely depending on the individual facts of your case. Some factors could include, but are not limited to:
- Whether it will be difficult to prove the insurer’s liability for benefits at a hearing
- Your financial need
- Which benefits are contested
- How much you demand or the insurance company offers as a settlement
- Your injury and the status of your recovery
- Whether you have returned to work or found another job
How Can I Learn More?
- Make an appointment with a workers’ compensation attorney today;
- Read this fact sheet provided by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry before your appointment; and
- Talk to the attorney about settlement when you go to the appointment.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.