What does it mean to “settle” a case?


Essentially, settlement translates to a closure of the case. Generally, the Employer/Insurer will pay the injured employee a lump sum of money to relieve them of any past or future liability. The decision to settle a workers’ compensation must be a mutual one. The injured worker and the Employer/Insurer must agree to settle the case.

From the Employer/Insurer’s side, it is strictly a business decision. From the injured workers’ perspective, it may be more complicated as he or she may be giving up future medical treatment, employment, and future benefits. Therefore, careful consideration must be given to settling a case. Consideration of “real life” circumstances must be addressed. Many clients “need” the money as soon as practicable so that they can save their house, car, or pay for their kids schooling. Insurance companies understand this and they may use it to drive a “better bargain” for their stockholders. Also, the injured workers must consider how they will pay for future medical treatment once the case closes. Generally, the Employer/Insurer will insist that all future medical treatment be the responsibility of the injured worker.

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