Until recently possible entitlement to future benefits for active medical care could not be settled.
However, as of November 1, 2017, settlements of both compensation and medical benefits can be settled on a “full and final” basis.
Such settlements are voluntary for both sides. A case can be settled only if the other side agrees to negotiate a settlement – and if an administrative law judge approves the settlement agreement.
The amount of a full and final settlement will reflect the cost of the compensation and medical benefits an insurance carrier may be required to pay in the future if your case is not settled, as well as the likelihood the carrier will need to pay those benefits.
However, if you agree to a full and final settlement you would be giving up two important rights – the right to try to reopen your case in the future should you need additional active medical care (such as surgery), and the right to receive supportive (maintenance) medical treatment.
Exploring the possibility of a full and final settlement is best done with the help of an experienced Board-Certified workers’ compensation attorney. Prior to retaining an attorney, it is best that you NEVER tell the insurance company that you will ONLY be satisfied with a full and final settlement – doing that will negate the possibility of ever obtaining an adequate settlement amount.