Workers’ compensation cases don’t always involve the insurance company accepting a claim and agreeing to provide all the benefits owed to the injured worker. Realistically, if you need to file a workers’ comp claim, then you should expect some resistance. If the case is rejected and you have to threaten litigation with the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney, then it might be able to reach a settlement before it goes to court. If it does settle, then your payment will probably be a part of a “compromise and release” agreement. What does that mean, exactly?
Compromise and release agreements – also called compromise settlements, redemptions, and a few other names – are the norm for most workers’ compensation settlements. This type of agreement usually creates a lump-sum payment to rapidly benefit the claimant, but it also provides some future protections for the insurance company that pays for it.
There are three key elements to a compromise and release agreement:
- Compensation: As mentioned, compensation paid to the claimant through a compromise and release agreement is normally handled through a lump-sum payment that hits their bank account all at once. Although, a structured settlement with monthly payments is also possible. It might depend on what would best benefit the claimant’s financial situation.
- Release of liability: The insurance company and the employer involved in the claim will be excused of or released from future liability for the claimant’s damages, such as future medical expenses. Essentially, once you sign a compromise and release agreement, you cannot come back later and attempt to get more compensation or benefits for the same injury or damages. For this reason, it is so important to know what you are signing and that you aren’t agreeing to an inadequate or unfair amount. An attorney can help you by reviewing a settlement offer before you sign it.
- Compromise between parties: Of course, you can’t have a compromise and release agreement without a compromise. This type of agreement will not fully appease either party. Instead, both need to be willing to meet somewhere in the middle. Typically, the compromise will involve the claimant getting less financial compensation than they want, but at the benefit of not needing to fight the insurer in court, which can be costly and exhausting. Again, to make sure you don’t compromise too much and jeopardize your recovery, you should allow a workers’ compensation the opportunity to represent you or, at least, to review your compromise and release agreement.
Need an Illinois workers’ comp lawyer to work with you to get a good compromise and release agreement? Pick the team that has secured more than $500 million in recoveries for past clients. Choose Leonard Law Group. Contact us now for more information.