I want to settle a get my compensation money now in a lump sum, can i do this?
Criminal Defense Attorney
You are talking about a Section 32 award. Consult with a Workers' Compensation lawyer.
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Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Dear Madam or Sir in Yonkers (Mclean Ave. exit?):
Yes you can, but it takes two sides to settle. If the Carrier doesn't want to settle, they are not required.
You haven't said a thing about your injuries, how long out of work, any surgery, etc. Some cases are settled with a "Schedule" award, some cases are settled with payments for a fixed period (CAP) and some are settled by Sec. 32 Agreement.
You really have to give more information. If you have a workers' compensation attorney, what has he or she said about this?
The foregoing is based on the little information provided; additional facts may change the comments given.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Your posting suggests that you want to sell your ongoing payments. Most of the companies that offer to buy settlements from lawsuits will not purchase a payment in workers' compensation because the continuing payment is usually dependent on your continuing to meet the eligibility criteria to receive payments, such as looking for work if you have a permanent partial disability. If you don't look for work, the carrier can request a hearing to stop your payments. Only if permanent total disability cases or total industrial disability cases will payments continue without a job search. Another example is that your payments may stop or change in amount if you go back to work or become self-employed. If you die, the payments stop. Thus, the risk involved in a workers' compensation claim usually keeps the companies that buy settlements away from workers' compensation claims. Remember that those companies pay pennies on the dollar for such settlements.
The second part of your post asks if you can settle your claim for a lump sum. If you and the carrier can agree on an amount and on terms, it is possible to settle the indemnity (money) or medical portion of your claim or the entire claim under Section 32 of the WCL. There are many issues involved in settling a claim or any part of the claim in this fashion. I do NOT recommend entering in to a Section 32 settlement without an experienced workers' compensation attorney on your side. The value of your case varies depending on the nature of your injuries, your average weekly wage, your degree of disability, the rate of payment, whether the case is a capped case with a limit on indemnity (money) payments, whether you may need additional medical treatment in the future, the cost of future medical treatment, etc. The settlement contract may provide that you have to pay back all or a portion of the settlement and prior indemnity (money) and medical payments if you settle a lawsuit arising out of the work related accident. A settlement of the medical portion of your claim may require you to set aside a portion of the settlement to pay for future medical treatment. If you fail to do so, you may lose future eligibility for Medicare coverage for your work related injuries. Note that no other form of medical insurance will cover your work related injuries, except Medicare with a proper Medicare set aside. Your settlement may have a negative impact on your continued Social Security benefits, if not done properly. There are many more issues to discuss with a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney before you decide whether to settle all or part of your case.
You can bet the carrier will have an attorney negotiating and drafting or reviewing the Section 32 agreement on their behalf.
Dan Bronk's response to this question does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice. The response is Dan Bronk's answer to a hypothetical question and without any knowledge of the specific facts or legal issues involved in your case. Do not take any legal action without consulting Dan or another experienced workers' compensation attorney for proper legal advice that can only be provided after a careful and thorough review of your case.
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