When you negotiate a settlement of a workers’ compensation claim with the insurer, you may end up receiving a to-date settlement. A to-date settlement is a bit different than a structured settlement or a full and final settlement.
What Is a To-Date Settlement?
A to-date settlement compensates an injured worker for a workers’ comp claim up to a particular date listed in the agreement. For example, the insurance company may agree to settle all past disputes about payment of benefits for a lump sum payment to the worker. However, the settlement leaves open the possibility of another settlement or more benefits payments in the future.
What Is the Effect of a To-Date Settlement?
This kind of settlement resolves all disputes and arguments about benefits due to the injured worker in the past. The worker may have requested payment of medical bills that the insurance company would not pay. Or the worker may have taken time off work, but the insurance company would not provide wage loss benefits.
Rather than risking a court battle over these benefits – especially if not that much money is at stake – the insurer may agree to pay a lump sum of money to the worker. In exchange, the worker releases all claims to benefits related to the work injury before the specific date named in the settlement agreement. The worker does not give up the right to benefits in the future or a settlement related to those benefits.
What to Look For If the Insurer Offers a To-Date Settlement
First, you and your lawyer should carefully review the settlement agreement to ensure that it only relates to claims before a certain date. The agreement should explicitly say that you do not release any claims for future benefits arising from this work injury – or any other work injury.
Also, you and your lawyer should agree that the settlement is fair and reasonable. While the amount offered by the insurance company may not completely match the amount you think you should receive, it might make sense to take the settlement. Spending time and energy fighting for a small amount of benefits might not be worth it. Or you might believe that you will have claims for benefits in the future and want to reserve those rights. Talk to your lawyer about the pros and cons of a to-date settlement so you can make an informed decision.
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.