What does ‘full and final’ or ‘global’ settlement mean in Pennsylvania Workers Comp

Pennsylvania workers compensation is known for its ‘lingo’.  The various lingo terms are used on a daily basis.  When it comes to settling your Pennsylvania workers’ comp case, your attorney should advise you that it is a ‘full and final’ or a ‘global’ resolution of your claim.  You will also likely hear these terms at the hearing to approve the Compromise and Release agreement.  So what do they mean?

The two terms are the same.  What does a ‘full and final’ settlement mean with your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim?  It means that you are resolving your claim in its entirety.  The word ‘full’ means that you are resolving your entitlement to all benefits you are afforded under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, including, but not limited to, wage loss benefits and medical benefits.  In Pennsylvania, most cases settle fully.  Many clients do ask me about ongoing or future medical benefits, but reality is, it is rare that medical benefits remain open and ongoing, even in a limited nature.  When insurance carriers agree to settle the workers compensation claim, they insist on a full and final resolution to end their complete liability on the claim.  In fact, in most cases, they will refuse to settle at all if there is an insistence on ongoing medical benefits.  It happens, but under limited circumstances.

It also means the settlement is ‘final’.  What does that mean?  It means if you agree to settle your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim, once the settlement is approved by the Workers’ Compensation Judge, then your claim is closed forever.  That means you can NEVER try and reopen your claim.  Even if you have second thoughts, even if your condition, pain, and symptoms worsen, even if you doctor tells you that your injury is more expansive than realized, even if your doctor advises you need surgery, and even if suddenly feel you did not get enough for settlement, you can NEVER reopen your claim once the settlement is approved.

This is precisely why it is so important to discuss your case with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney before settling your case.  At Mooney Law, we have settled hundreds or thousands of cases.  As a full litigation firm, we also are more than willing to not settle, but go to Judge’s decision for our clients.  Settlement has to be right and at the right time.  Injured workers deserve a fair and reasonable settlement.  We work hard to achieve those goals.   However, it goes beyond that.  Settlement has to be in the best interest of the injured worker.  Honest and upfront legal representation will help answer those questions.  You see, Mooney Law is different than your regular personal injury firms.  We practice way beyond just personal injury.  Our firm also represents clients in family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy, estates, and more.  Personally, all I do is Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania and Maryland.  It is all I have ever done.  However, given the other areas of law that my firm practices, it is important to me that every client receives the best possible outcomes.  Why?  Because we want you to be a client for life, no matter your legal need.  And that is why Mooney law is different.

If you have been injured at work and are thinking about settling your case or wondering if it is the right time to settle, call Mooney Law to set up an absolutely free consultation with me.  Additionally, you can read more about Pennsylvania workers’ compensation settlements here.   Call today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656.  You can also email us at info@mooney4law.com.  Finally, you can also visit our website and complete the Schedule a Consultation form.


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.