If you were injured at work and are now entitled to workers' compensation benefits from your employer, you may be asked to accept a compromise and release offer. But what is a compromise and release in workers’ comp, and how will it affect you—now and in the future? These are issues you should understand before you agree to anything.
A compromise and release is a way for all parties (you, your employer, and the workers’ comp insurance company) to come to an agreement regarding workers’ compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury or illness. This agreement bypasses courtroom hearings and holds each party to certain terms, which are detailed in the release contract.
An offer for compromise and release is in no way legally binding until all parties agree on the requests. The matter will then be put before a Pennsylvanian judge, who will determine if each member of the contract fully understands their role in the agreement. Once the judge affirms that all parties understand their obligations, he or she will then accept the compromise and release request as a partial or total fulfillment of an employee’s workers' compensation benefit.
There are advantages and disadvantages to accepting a compromise and release. When you have a firm understanding of these, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept or even extend an offer to your employer in the wake of a work injury.
Should I Accept a Compromise & Release Offer?
Compromise and release offers will vary from case to case, so you should consider having a skilled attorney review yours. Your attorney can talk to you about the numerous factors that should be accounted for when accepting or instigating such an offer. For example, a compromise and release may cover just a portion of your workers' compensation benefits, and you may still be eligible to receive payment for other medical bills or wage-loss benefits. You can also experience the benefit of resolving your workers’ compensation claim faster, without having to deal with long waits for hearings and other delays.
Looking at the details and seeing how they will impact you now and later will help you understand whether accepting is truly in your best interests.
Why You May Not Want to Accept a Compromise & Release Offer
There are scenarios where a compromise and release in workers’ comp may be created to give an edge to an insurer and prevent an injured worker from receiving their full entitlement. An offer may come for a desirable amount of settlement money, but it may come through unacceptable terms (like payment of $40,000 settled over a three-year period). Or, a worker may decide to extend a compromise and release offer to their employer, but they may not know what they are entitled to receive and end up settling for less than what it will take to rebuild and move on.
What’s a Compromise & Release in Workers’ Comp? We Have the Answers You Need!
There are far too many instances of injured workers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. receiving far less than they deserve when it comes to their medical treatment and repayment of lost earnings. If there is any hesitation to accept or extend a compromise and release offer, please contact our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys for a free consultation concerning your case. We have the know-how and experience to help. Our team includes attorney J. Jeffrey Watson, a board-certified specialist in workers' compensation law, and we have the level of commitment it takes to see each client's case through to the best possible resolution. Do not accept a compromise and release in workers’ comp without fully understanding what it is that you’re agreeing to.
What is a compromise and release in workers’ comp? Should you accept yours? We have answers to your most pressing work injury questions and concerns. We have filed thousands of workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania and have represented injured workers since 1922. Contact Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC today—“One Call...Does It All®.”