Types of Compromises in Worker’s Compensation Law
Full and Final v. Limited Compromise
There are two different types of compromises that are commonly used in Worker’s Compensation cases: 1) Full and Final, or 2) Limited. These compromises are used to settle Worker’s Compensation cases or avoid a formal Hearing or court date. Below are some brief descriptions of the commonly used compromises, as well as some pros and cons to each.
A Full and Final compromise closes out your Worker’s Compensation claim. More specifically, it closes out the indemnity (i.e. Lost Wages, Permanent Disability, Loss of Earning Capacity/Retraining, etc.) aspect of the claim, as well as any future medical expenses. If you sign a full and final compromise and you find out later that you need additional treatment for that specific injury, the Worker’s Compensation insurance company will not be responsible for covering the cost of these expenses. Keep in mind that if you have a new injury, you can file a new claim. This is even possible if the new injury is to the same body part and it happens while working for the same employer.
While you may have concerns about a Full and Final simply because it closes out your future medical expenses, there are many positives to this type of compromise:
– First, this provides you with closure. A Worker’s Compensation claim can be a lengthy, frustrating process. What a Full and Final guarantees is that you can stop thinking or worrying about your Worker’s Compensation case and ultimately move on with your life.
– Second, a Full and Final allows you to get your money up front. If you settle your case on a Full and Final basis, payment for any indemnity or past/future medical expenses will be paid to you within a matter of a few weeks or months. The Agreement is signed by all parties and submitted to an Administrative Law Judge for approval. Once the Agreement is approved and an Order is issued, the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Company has 21 days to issue payment to all parties involved.
– Third and finally, a Full and Final is what the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Companies are looking for. Thus, it is likely that you will receive more money if you are willing to close out your claim. While this may come at a cost if believe that you will need future medical care, you can potentially put more money in your pocket if you are willing to close out your claim.
A Limited compromise is different from a Full and Final because it keeps a portion (or all) of your claim open. Most of the time, a Limited compromise is used if there is a large concern about the need for future medical treatment. For instance, an individual that underwent a one-level fusion in their lower back may be unwilling to settle a case on a Full and Final basis, simply because it is likely that they will need future medical care. Keep in mind that although it is probably the most common, future medical treatment is not the only item that can be left open if a Limited compromise is reached.
Similar to a Full and Final, a Limited allows you to get your money up front. Payment for any indemnity or past medical expenses will be paid to you within a matter of a few weeks or months. Again, the Agreement is signed by all parties and submitted to an Administrative Law Judge for approval. Once the Agreement is approved and an Order is issued, the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Company has 21 days to issue payment to all parties involved.
The fact of the matter is that each case presents a completely different set of facts and circumstances. Therefore, it is difficult to determine what your particular case will call for. If you have questions about different types of compromises or Worker’s Compensation Law in general, please feel free to contact our experienced attorneys today!
Posted on May 6, 2013 @ 2:30 pm