There are many different types of settlement which have evolved over the last three decades, the most common of which are outlined below. Though settlement does not occur in every case, it's mandatory that the parties participate in settlement discussions in every case pending before the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. The parties can discuss settlement at the court mandated "Settlement Conference", a mediation with an independent third party mediator, or through direct party negotiations.
- Full Final & Complete - The most common these days is a "full, final and complete settlement". This is a common settlement when the workers compensation insurer has denied liability that you have a work injury. This type of settlement involves the insurer paying you a lump sum of money to closed out all past, present and future workers compensation benefits of any kind. In exchange for the lump sum payment you right to all workers compensation benefits are closed out.
- Full, Final & Complete With Medical Open - This is the most common settlement when the employee has an admitted injury but the there is conflicting evidence regarding the extent of the injury or whether it is temporary or permanent. Often an adverse medical report from an "independent medical examination" constributes to an employee agreeing to the same. This is similar to the first settlement above with the exception that some of your future medical benefits are left open.
- To Date Settlement - This was more common years ago and still occurs on occasion especially when the employee has a very strong case. This settlement usually results in the workers compensation insurer paying all outstanding medical bills through the date of the agreement as well as a compromise of wage loss claims or other disputes as well. In this settlement all future wage loss, vocational and medical claims remain open subject to the ongoing defenses of the workers compensation insurance company.