Workers Compensation Section 32 Settlements

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About the author:
Former New York State Workers Compensation Board Commissioner Michael T. Berns (1996-2008) was on the Board when these Section 32 settlement agreements first started to appear. He not only approved more Section 32 agreements than any of his colleagues but also worked with both claimant and carrier representatives to draft a standardized agreement. Currently Berns is the publisher and editor of, a website which reviews court decision and new relating to workers compensation issues as well as detailing information about key members of the Board's staff. Berns also published commentaries and polls covering legal decisions and Board procedures and is the only independent voice opening up the Board's practices to the public. In 2008 Berns published "Behind The Closed Doors - An insider's look at how things really work at the NYS Workers Compensation Board and how to fix them."

Prior to being appointed to the Board in 1996 by Governor George Pataki, Berns served as the chief executive of several firms involved in the international distribution of American manufactured products where he was primarily responsible for establishing distribution and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Berns has also served as an officer of, or on the board of, companies ranging from real estate to manufacturing, and as a director of a number community based organizations. A member of the cast of Lincoln Center's Metropolitan Opera for 18 seasons, Berns has also published articles on real estate and computer programming.

Berns graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, and completed additional studies as an undergraduate at the Universidad Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City and New York University as well as graduate studies at New York University's Stern School of Business. He currently lives in New York City with his wife and family.

Workers Compensation Section 32 Settlements

A Treasure or A Trap?

Authored by Michael T Berns

For those overwhelmed when faced with a New York State Section 32 settlement of their workers compensation case and unable to get satisfactory answers from the insurance company, attorneys, or the NYS Workers Compensation Board, this handbook is an invaluable tool to the injured worker and their family: a single source answering hundreds of questions on what a Section 32 workers compensation settlement means, written by a former Workers Compensation Board Commissioner.

Some of the questions answered in this book include:

- What is a fair offer: $100 or $20,000 or $150,000 or $1 Million?
- Will private health insurance or Medicare pay for future medical expenses?
- Do they need an attorney? And, if so, what is a fair fee?
- What will happen if they decide to reject the settlement?
- What happens to medical bills still unpaid after the settlement?
- Can the insurance company be forced to settle?
- Can the employer interfere with or stop the settlement? Can anyone else?

With Section 32 settlements ranging from $9,000,000 to some with no money being exchanged, until now, these and other questions have remained unanswered for injured workers seeking to close their claims with a settlement.

Although injured workers in New York could close their case since 1996, the NYS Workers' Compensation Board has yet to offer any formal and comprehensive guidelines to assist injured workers in understanding their options and the ramifications - financial, medical, and personnel - of accepting or rejecting a Section 32 settlement agreement offered by the insurance company.

Former New York State Workers Compensation Commissioner Michael T. Berns (1996-2008) was on the Board when these agreements were first allowed and not only approved more Section 32 agreements than any of his colleagues, but also worked with both claimant and carrier representatives to draft a standardized agreement to make these settlements easier to understand. Although no longer on the Board, Berns continues to answer questions from both injured workers and employers about Section 32 settlements of workers compensation cases.

Publication Date:
1470177943 / 9781470177942
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Law / Labor & Employment

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