A new law taking effect on Feb. 20, 2022 in Pennsylvania, affects compromise and release agreements for workers compensation claims whereby injured workers accept a lump sum settlement to resolve their workers compensation case. Only a workers compensation Judge may approve a “settlement” and in so doing, the Judge makes sure that the agreements adheres to the requirements of the law and that the claimant understands the agreement he or she is entering into. This new rule obviates the need for claimant’s signature to be attested to by two witnesses or notarized ‘if the claimant appears before a WCJ and testifies that he/she understands the full legal significance of the agreement."
Therefore, parties can start using the new LIBC-755 Compromise and Release Agreement by Stipulation Pursuant to Section 449 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, which does not require claimant’s signature to be attested to by two witnesses or notarized. Any injured employee who would like to consider a lump sum settlement of their claim should first seek the advice of an attorney such as the Law Offices of Anthony Urban, PC. The insurance carrier for the employer has an incentive to try to resolve the claim early in the process and may offer a Compromise and Release of the workers compensation claim.
For a settlement to be approved, a hearing before a workers compensation judge is mandatory. During the hearing an injured worker must demonstrate to the Judge a full understanding of the legal significance of the settlement upon his or her rights as it relates to both future medical benefits and wage loss. For that reason, review of the lump sum settlement agreement by an attorney is highly suggested.
Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys online or by phone at (888) 268-0023 if you’ve been injured in the workplace. The Law Offices of Anthony Urban, P.C. can help you ensure that you receive the amount of compensation you deserve after an accident.