Can an insurance company later substantially lower a settlement offer if I refuse to settle now?

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

A Colorado worker was seriously injured in the Nineties.  At the time the insurance carrier offered $300,000 to settle the claim.  The worker declined, waiting, he said, “for the right time to accept.”  Now nearly twenty years later, the carrier is only offering $20,000.  Can they do that?

Parties settle to avoid risk.  Workers settle to avoid the risk of getting less in the future.  Insurance Carriers settle to avoid the risk of having to pay out more in the future.

When the future becomes the past – the risk is gone – because whatever was going to happen has happened.  If the carrier was willing to offer $300,000 back in the nineties to avoid paying for medical care – now twenty years later they have already paid that medical care and they don’t think there is much more in the future.  Or maybe the injured worker didn’t have as much medical care as everyone thought twenty years ago.

The risk both sides take when they turn down settlement offers – they let the future play out.

As things play out, there is less ambiguity, less risk, and what is going to happen becomes clearer.  Sometimes that favors the worker and the carrier will offer more.  Sometimes it favors the carrier.

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex.  Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve.   Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your FREE CONSULTATION.