In recent months we have noticed an increase in the number of insurance carriers offering indemnity only settlements for Workers’ Compensation claims. Section 32 of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law allows for parties to settle outstanding issues by agreement so long as the settlement is not unreasonable or unconscionable.
In the past, very few insurance carriers would offer settlement of the indemnity (lost wage) portion of a Workers’ Compensation case without also requiring that the medical portion of the claim be included in the settlement. In other words, the past practice was for carriers to offer a one-time payment to buy out the entire compensation claim, both medical and lost wage.
Recently, more insurance carrier are considering a one-time payment to resolve all future lost wage issues but at the same time keeping the medical benefits open to the injured worker.
In cases where future medical costs are expected to by significant and Medicare/CMS approval is needed, indemnity only settlements may be the only option for the insurance carrier and claimant.
If you have had an injury at work and are not sure whether you may qualify for a Section 32 settlement of your claim, feel free to contact us.