Workers Compensation Settlement in Pennsylvania Not Final Until Approved by a Workers’ Compensation Judge
An injured worker in PA can settle both the wage loss and medical parts of his or her case by entering into a Compromise & Release Agreement. This is something which can only be done when both the injured worker and the workers’ comp insurance company agree to settle the case. Neither side can force the other to settle a case. Once the parties agree to the terms of a settlement, a Compromise & Release Agreement must be prepared, detailing the terms of the settlement. Then, before the settlement is final, a hearing must be held before a Workers’ Compensation Judge, who must be satisfied that the injured worker understands the terms and conditions of the settlement.
Recently, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decided that a Compromise & Release Agreement could not be approved because the injured worker had died before a hearing to approve the settlement could be accomplished. This case, Miller v. W.C.A.B. (Electrolux), was decided on January 4, 2008.
Understand that settling a workers’ compensation case in Pennsylvania is a very complicated process. It is very important that you have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer working for you, to make sure that you receive the maximum recovery possible, and that your rights be properly protected.