What Is a Section 32 Settlement in New York?

A Section 32 settlement in New York is a mutually agreed-upon contract between an injured laborer and employer guaranteeing a one-time, generally tax-free, lump-sum settlement in exchange for the worker’s agreement to resolve some or all aspects of their case. The lump sum is taken instead of weekly payments that may continue over a long period of time.

What Is a Section 32 Settlement in New York and Why Accept It?

Section 32 is a very specific subsection of workers’ compensation law. For injured workers with no outstanding liens or legal judgments, Section 32 settlements are often the best way to maximize the potential of their claim, but there are times when it is not advantageous to accept it.

Advantages of Section 32 settlements include:

  • Since the settlements are agreed upon by both the laborer and the employer, a Section 32 settlement can avoid and bypass additional litigation and debate.
  • A lump-sum settlement can help an injured worker who is struggling financially to pay off mounting bills.
  • A settlement eliminates the chance that a worker may lose at a workers’ compensation hearing.


There are dangers in accepting a Section 32 settlement, however. Section 32 settlements usually end a workers’ compensation case for good, eliminating the chance of getting a better settlement in the future.

If you are thinking about reaching a Section 32 settlement, we can help evaluate your situation and advise you about whether pursuing a Section 32 is the best option available to you.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to examine your individual situation. Call Tucker Lawyers PC at (516) 399-2364.

Section 32 Lump Settlement or Stipulation?

Stipulation agreements occur in cases where you and the insurance company agree on both the extent of your disability and how much you should receive in workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits are paid on a weekly basis.

An advantage of a stipulation agreement is that it can be modified with Board approval if your circumstances change and you become eligible for additional benefits. With a Section 32 agreement, you only have ten days after your settlement hearing to cancel in writing or the settlement is final, even if your condition worsens.

In both cases, agreements require a judge’s approval. For a stipulation agreement, you will have a settlement hearing, where the judge will review your settlement to make sure it is fair and reasonable and that you understand the terms of your settlement.

If you have a lawyer, the judge will usually approve your settlement without intense scrutiny, but if you do not have a lawyer, you will probably be questioned extensively before the judge makes a final decision.  With so much at stake, consider contacting the injury lawyers at Tucker Lawyers PC to evaluate any settlement offer you are considering.

What Should I Consider Before a Settlement?

When formulating the terms of a settlement agreement, there are many variables at play. Here are some of the many things our experienced team of attorneys know are taken into consideration:

  • Claimant’s age
  • Claimant’s occupation
  • Claimant’s occupational history
  • Claimant’s medical history
  • The injury or illness in question
  • Claimant’s ability to work
  • Claimant’s need for future medical care
  • Claimant’s prior workers’ compensation cases, if any
  • Whether the claimant has sought legal representation.

By taking into account all of these and other less significant factors, our attorneys can help assure you that you’re taking the proper steps in seeking benefits. Remember, once a Section 32 settlement is made, your case is considered closed and you are entitled to nothing further.

We at Tucker Lawyers PC believe that you should be compensated for the injuries that you have sustained and the losses that you have suffered. We want to help you avoid sacrificing part of your reward because you weren’t alerted to the full extent of your rights.

Tucker Lawyers provides clients with the detailed and clear guidance they need to make the most optimal decisions for their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

We Have the Answers You Need

Section 32 issues can be complex. So we have answered some of the more common questions we receive from our clients. If you have more questions of your own, please contact our office.

How long do I have to file a workers’ comp claim?

You have two years from the date of your injury to file workers’ comp claims in New York. For most occupational conditions that develop over time, workers have two years from the date they discover or should discover the condition.

Should I hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer for a Section 32 settlement or a stipulation?

To get maximum awards for lump sum or stipulation payments, it is advised that you hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer. Insurance companies employ their top adjusters to save them money by paying less compensation to clients who don’t have attorneys.

How much do workers’ comp lawyers charge in New York?

Workers’ comp attorneys in New York typically charge between 10% and 15% of your compensation award. Even with this fee, injured workers with attorneys typically receive far more compensation than those who go it alone.

Can I sue someone and file a workers’ comp claim at the same time?

Yes. If a third party — such as someone from the general public or a delivery driver from another business — causes you harm, you can sue that party for full damages.

Call Tucker Lawyers to ask our team anything. Your questions matter to us!

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Let’s Discuss Your Options

Because each workers’ compensation case is different, and there is only one opportunity to negotiate your optimal Section 32 agreement, it pays to have an experienced attorney on your side.

If you’re already looking to reach a Section 32 settlement, are unsure as to whether or not you qualify for benefits, or have any other questions, contact the injury lawyers at Tucker Lawyers PC for a free consultation by calling (516) 399-2364.

john tucker

Managing Attorney John. J. Tucker, Esq.

John has personally handled thousands of clients who were victims of another’s negligence and fights relentlessly for their rights. John enjoys bringing closure to a client’s matter so that the injured party can move forward with their life. His background enables him to evaluate complex liability related claims and bring resolution to claims in a record time frame. [ Attorney Bio ]

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