Most people have heard about workers compensation settlements. They understand that settlement generally means payment of an amount of money to end a workers compensation case.
But, many people do not understand the specific details of how settlements work. One question that people often wonder about is whether they can change their mind about a settlement. This article will discuss that very issue.
Georgia workers compensation settlements are different than many other types of legal settlements. They require approval by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation before they become final.
Generally, the parties to a settlement will agree on an amount of a settlement. In many types of legal settlements, this agreement may be enforceable. Then, formal paperwork is drawn up and signed.
But, in a Georgia workers compensation case, any settlement has to be approved by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Until the State Board Workers’ Compensation approves your settlement, either you or the insurance company can almost always back out.
Being able to back out does not mean that you should. You do need to consider that there could be negative consequences of backing out of a settlement. It could certainly affect whether the insurance company will want to settle your case with you later. So, you will want to give serious consideration to whether you should back out before deciding to do so.
To back out of a settlement, you would need to take certain steps to withdraw your consent. If you have already signed the settlement paperwork, then the settlement could be approved if you do not take those steps quickly. At that point, it could be too late for you to back out.
When does a Georgia workers compensation settlement become final?
The settlement of your workers compensation case becomes final when it is approved by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This article I wrote discusses in more detail the steps that happens between when you agree on a settlement and when it actually gets approved.
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation will stamp a date on the settlement document indicating that it has been approved and made an order of the State Board. At this point, it becomes final and the insurance company has 20 days to pay you the settlement amount.
Can I back out of a Georgia workers compensation settlement once it becomes final?
Once a settlement has actually been approved by a judge at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, it becomes very difficult to change your mind and back out. Basically, the settlement is an order from a judge once it is approved.
There are some things that can be done to try to set a settlement aside. One tool used to set aside a judge’s order is a motion to set aside. But, this is definitely not as easy as backing out of a settlement before it is approved.
You have to meet certain conditions and prove certain things in order to succeed on a motion to set aside. So, it is probably not a good idea to count on being able to back out of a settlement once it is approved.
If you have doubts about whether you should move forward with settlement, the time to figure out whether you are going to move forward or not is prior to the settlement being approved. Once it has been approved, it gets much more difficult to back out.
What if I want more information about settlement?
This article talks about workers compensation settlements in great detail. You may find it helpful to read it as it can provide you with a lot of information.
You can also reach out to us if you have questions. Just call our office at (770) 214-8885 or complete this form and we’ll reach out to you.
Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.
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