Many injured workers, particularly when their treatment has ended and their doctor has released them, inquire about closing or settling their workers’ compensation claim. In many instances, the insurance company and the injured worker will agree on an amount of money that the insurance company pays to the injured worker in exchange for the injured worker agreeing to close their claim. This is called a settlement, or a “washout.”
The value of a case, generally speaking, reflects what future benefits, either in the form of medical treatment or compensation benefits, the injured worker may be eligible to in the future if they didn’t settle their case.
Settlements do not reflect compensation for pain and suffering and other emotional components.
Neither party can force the other to settle. A Judge of Compensation Claims is not empowered to award a settlement when the parties cannot come to an agreement. Thus, if no agreement is reached, no settlement occurs, and the claim remains open.
Settlement negotiations are complicated. If you would like to explore settlement of your case, please call us.