Can You Commute a Workers' Compensation Case in Delaware … – Law.com

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COMMENTARY
If crafted correctly, a commutation can maximize the amount of compensation for a claimant, address future concerns, and permit claimants to move on with their life without feeling like someone is always watching their every move.
October 01, 2022 at 01:21 PM
6 minute read
Commentary
In a previous Legal Intelligencer article, I discussed Delaware’s workers’ compensation rights, compared them to Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation rights, and recommended that an attorney handling workers’ compensation cases consider which state provides the best benefits for each individual case when concurrent jurisdiction exists to maximize benefits for your client. I explained that Delaware has several workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expenses, disability benefits (both total and partial disability), scarring/disfigurement benefits, and permanent partial impairment benefits. However, Pennsylvania attorneys often commute (settle) cases for a lump sum on behalf of their clients. Can you do this in Delaware, and if so, how does that work?
The answer is yes, Delaware has an avenue to commute workers’ compensation cases, which is essentially giving up all or some of a claimants’ rights in return for a lump sum of money. However, both the claimant and the employer must mutually agree to commute a case. Unlike other rights, where the claimant can file a petition with the Industrial Accident Board (IAB) to force an employer to pay medical, disability, disfigurement, or permanent impairment benefits, a case cannot commute unless both the claimant and the employer agree to the process and the terms of the agreement.

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