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Posts Tagged ‘settlement of workers compensation’

Is Settlement Always Final in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Cases?

In our last blog post we discussed two ways settlement arrangements are reached in workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey. For many parties, these settlements have a sense of finality and conclusion. In some cases, this is true, and the claim cannot be reevaluated at a later date. However, The Law Offices of Albert J. Talone have represented quite a few clients in the instances when settlement was not the end of claim for an injured worker.

If you missed our last post, let’s catch-up quickly. There are two ways to settle a workers’ compensation case in New Jersey. Both offer pros and cons that should be considered by an injured employee and his or her legal representative. Sometimes, refusing to settle is the best strategy. However, when settlement is on the table, one of the major distinctions between types of settlement is whether or not you can reopen the claim.

First, When Settlement Is Final

When the parties agree to a lump sum, single payment as settlement of a workers’ compensation case, the amount paid is final. Referred to as Section 20 settlements, because this is the Section of the Workers’ Compensation Act in New Jersey that dictates the conditions of these payments, these one-off payments are typically preferred by employers and their insurance companies. Those parties know that even if a medical condition worsens or more doctors’ visits are needed, the amount cannot be adjusted.

As the employee is barred from reopening the claim, there is some risk …

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How Are Workers’ Compensation Claims Settled in New Jersey?

Employers and their insurance providers often see workers’ compensation claims, and the process of making benefit payments, as an ongoing burden. For these parties, it is valuable and preferable if the situation is finalized swiftly and efficiently through a contractual arrangement with you, the injured employee.

Therefore, it is very likely that in the course of reporting your work-related injury and seeking workers’ compensation benefits (even if you haven’t filed a formal claim with the Department of Labor), your employer or an insurance provider has made an offer to settle. When this offer is extended, most likely it will come from the insurance company, you have two options under New Jersey law for settling your case.

Accepting a Lump Sum Settlement

The New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) 34:15-20 provides a mechanism for employers, through or with the insurance company, to make a one-time payment to an injured employee. Often, because of the citation for these one-off payments, those familiar with New Jersey workers’ compensation will call this form of settlement a Section 20 settlement.

Approximately 30% of workers’ compensation cases in the State of New Jersey are resolved through the Section 20 mechanism, but employees often enter the contractual agreement for these settlements without fully understanding the pros and cons of doing so. The upside of resolving a workers’ compensation situation through Section 20 is the lump sum becomes immediately available to the employee to use for past, present, and future medical costs. This can be incredibly attractive for …

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The Law Office Of Albert J. Talone
The Law Office Of Albert J. Talone is committed to providing for those with Workers Compensation cases throughout New Jersey.
302 N Washington Ave #101
New Jersey
United States

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