Section 32 Settlements are written agreements (which have to be approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board) in which a claimant and an insurance company agree to resolve some or all aspects of the claimant’s case in return for a one-time, lump sum of money. The money is tax-free to the claimant in most instances, although it may be subject to certain types of liens or other legal judgments which may be outstanding. However, most claimants do not have outstanding liens or judgments, so for these individuals, Section 32 settlements can be quite attractive. These are called “Section 32" settlements because § 32 within the New York State, Workers’ Compensation Law provides the legal authority for insurance carriers and claimants to enter into agreement contracts, thereby avoiding ongoing conflict and/or litigation.
Remember, only an experienced negotiator will know what a reasonable amount is at which a claimant can settle and still get a “good deal.” This is because the many varied considerations which will determine the value of a particular Workers' Compensation settlement may include all of the following, and other factors as well:
Injury or Illness Suffered;
Previous Work History;
Previous Claim History;
Particular Facts Determined in Litigation;
Current Amount Being Paid in both Cash and Medical Bills;
Under Which Particular Sections of the Workers’ Compensation Law the Claim Falls;
Whether the Claimant has an Attorney;
Who Negotiates the Deal;
Ultimately, completing Section 32 settlements is a very technical and detail-oriented area of practice. The contracts used to conclude these settlements are often difficult to understand for unrepresented individuals. Indeed, an insurance company may not even be allowed by Workers' Compensation Board Rules to enter into a Section 32 settlement with an unrepresented party, depending on the nature of the Section 32 Settlement. Also, the bottom line trend is that unrepresented claimants may not receive as much money, nor on as good of conditions, as those who have obtained experienced counsel. For all of these reasons, if you are interested in obtaining a Section 32 Settlement, contact experienced counsel.
Please also remember that in addition to being highly technical, entering a Workers' Compensation settlement agreement can impact on an individual's rights under various circumstances covered by both state and federal laws. One especially notable area where this is true is with regard to the Workers' Compensation offset rules which apply to Social Security Disability benefits under federal law. Another notable area is with respect to Medicare, even if the claimant has never used Medicare benefits before, and has no plan to use Medicare benefits in the near future. For these reasons, any substantial Section 32 Settlement must go through a process designed to protect Medicare's interests, according to federal law. Learn more about the legal requirement to protect Medicare's interests in Workers' Compensation Settlements.
If you are ready to settle your Workers’ Compensation claim, to be free from all future litigation and harassment by your employer’s insurance carrier, please Contact Us today. We will negotiate and draft Section 32 Settlements for any claimant to New York State Workers' Compensation benefits, whether or not the claimant still resides in New York state. Once we have reviewed your claim, we will tell you promptly how much we believe your claim may be worth. We will also assist in securing Medicare's approval of your settlement amount. We will also advise you with regard to your collateral rights under various other laws, which rights will be touched upon should you decide to settle your claim. Please note that we've very often obtained settlements in higher amounts than claimants even thought possible, so it can't hurt you to learn how much money may be on the table.
If you want us to seek settlement in your Workers' Compensation claim, even if you live outside of the United States, please call us today at (585) 232-3240.
FUN NOTE: This office was recently consulted with the question of whether it is wise to settle a Workers' Compensation claim before 12/21/2012 due to the fact that so many people are running around saying that the earth may end on that date. If that is the reason for your visit to this page, we respectfully suggest that you first consult the opinion of a noted astrophysicist (Neil DeGrasse Tyson).
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