Voluntary Agreement Workers Compensation CT: What You Need to Know
If you’re an employer in Connecticut, it’s important to understand the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job or become ill due to their work. In Connecticut, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but what happens if an employee voluntarily agrees to waive their rights to workers’ compensation benefits?
What is a Voluntary Agreement?
A voluntary agreement, also known as a stipulation or settlement agreement, is an agreement between the employer and the employee that settles a workers’ compensation claim. In a voluntary agreement, the employee agrees to waive their rights to future workers’ compensation benefits in exchange for a lump sum payment or other agreement.
The voluntary agreement process is typically initiated by the employee, who contacts their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to discuss a settlement. If the insurer agrees to settle the claim, they will present the employee with a written settlement agreement outlining the terms of the settlement. If the employee agrees to the terms, they will sign the agreement and the settlement will be final.
What Are the Risks of Voluntary Agreements?
While voluntary agreements can be beneficial for both employers and employees, they also carry risks. When an employee waives their rights to future workers’ compensation benefits, they are giving up any potential benefits they may be entitled to in the future. This can be risky, as some injuries or illnesses may not fully manifest until years after the initial incident.
In addition, if an employee signs a voluntary agreement without fully understanding the terms and consequences, they may be waiving their rights to benefits that they should be entitled to. This can lead to legal disputes and may require the employee to hire an attorney to fight for their rights.
What Employers Need to Know
Employers should be aware that they cannot force an employee to sign a voluntary agreement. Any agreement must be entered into voluntarily by the employee and must be reviewed and approved by a workers’ compensation commissioner.
Employers should also be aware that voluntary agreements can be costly. While a settlement may seem like a good option to avoid the cost of ongoing workers’ compensation benefits, the lump sum payment or other agreement can be expensive. Employers should work with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier to determine if a settlement is the best option for their company.
If you’re an employer in Connecticut, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of voluntary agreements in workers’ compensation cases. While settlements can be a good option for avoiding ongoing expenses, they also carry risks for both employers and employees. If you’re considering a voluntary agreement, it’s important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney or insurance carrier to ensure the agreement is fair and legally binding.