When you settle a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case via Compromise & Release- the name of our form for global/lump sum settlements, there are many issues to consider.
What is Compromise and Release?
But before we dive into those issues, lets understand what Compromise & Release means in a PA Work Comp case:
When you settle a workers’ compensation case via compromise and release it means that all parties including the injured worker, employer or the company, the insurance company came to an agreement regarding the workers’ compensation benefits offered in compensation to the injury, disability, or illness caused due to a workplace accident.
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The compromise and release agreement bypass the courtroom hearing and each party signs to certain terms (or compromise) and conditions that are detailed in the release contract. Hence, the name compromise and release. The agreement is not legally binding unless all the parties involved agree to the terms of the agreement. The compromise and release option for the workers’ compensation is then put in front of a judge in Pennsylvania who determines if the individuals understand the terms to the fullest and affirms if they agree to their role in the contract.
Compromise & Release: The Issues To Consider
Following are the issues to consider when settling a workers’ compensation case in Pennsylvania through Compromise and Release contract:
- Are the names of the parties listed correctly and spelled properly?
- Is the date of injury accurate?
- Does the C & R properly reflect the accepted body part and diagnosis?
- Is the amount of the settlement listed accurately?
- Is there language explaining what is happening with medical benefits and if they are ending, what is the end date?
- Are any petitions going to remain open or will any pending petitions be marked as withdrawn or granted?
- Are there any child support liens and how will any arrears be dealt with?
- Is Medicare an issue, why or why not?
- If there is a resignation required, make sure there is consideration and that it’s a separate document- the WCJ does not have jurisdiction over the issue.
- Is the Social Security Disability language added and calculated properly?
- Any Medicaid liens?
- Did you get approval for and insert any litigation costs?
- Does client understand subrogation concept regarding 3rd party claims?
- If there were any credits being discussed prior to C & R, are they being waived? (UC benefits, etc)
- Does client understand finality of C & R- that even if conditions worsen, they cannot come back and ask for additional benefits once Order approving C & R is entered?
- Do the parties waive the applicable 20 day appeal period?
These are just some of the issues that must be carefully analyzed when entering into a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Compromise & Release Agreement.
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