There are two types of workers’ compensation settlements in Georgia, and careful consideration must be taken before opting for one kind or the other. Before signing any documentation or making any formal agreement with your employer or the insurer, you’d benefit from consulting with an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney.
Two Types of Workers’ Comp Settlements
The two types of settlements that apply to workers’ compensation cases in Georgia are standard settlements (also referred to as Liability Stipulations) and No-Liability Stipulations:
- Liability Stipulations – When both parties agree that the claim is legitimate and that the employer/insurer is liable, then a standard settlement will be drafted. In these cases, both parties have agreed that the injury is compensable under workers’ compensation, and the worker is due benefits. This “liability stipulation” will lay out the terms of the benefits and will be submitted to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC).
- No-Liability Stipulations – A no-liability stipulation is an agreement between the employer and employee that states that the parties disagree about the compensability of an injury, but the employer has agreed to provide a certain amount of compensation to the employee anyway. It’s an agree-to-disagree settlement. Once drafted and signed, it must be submitted to the SBWC.
Which type of settlement is right for you?
The SBWC has very detailed guidelines on what both types of stipulations must include and how they are to be handled. The rules are covered in O.C.G.A. § 34-9-15 and Board Rule 15.
The best-case scenario is that the insurer will admit liability and offer a fair standard settlement. This doesn’t always happen, however. When the insurer denies the claim and the employer denies liability, a no-liability stipulation might be best. Injured workers sometimes fare better when they settle substantial no-liability claims, rather than taking their cases to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Many employees have a hard time agreeing to no-liability stipulations. Even though the employer is agreeing to pay compensation, the document essentially says that the worker is lying about his/her injury. Agreeing that the employer isn’t liable for your injury (especially when you know that it is) can be disconcerting. But remember, the ultimate goal is for you to obtain the medical care and benefits you need, and sometimes a no-liability stipulation is the best way to achieve that.
Consulting a Work Injury Attorney in Atlanta
When there are disputes over workers’ compensation claims, professional discernment, and careful consideration are of utmost importance. You’ll want to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta about your concerns, review your settlement options, and work together to resolve the case in your favor.
For a free consultation with an attorney in Atlanta who advocates for workers’ rights, contact Bader Law Firm, LLC, today at 678-562-5595.