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Pay Without Prejudice – Legal In Workers Compensation Claims?


Pay Without Prejudice OK In Some States

The pay without prejudice period occurs when the Workers Comp adjuster decides (where legal) to begin paying indemnity and medical benefits without accepting an accident as compensable. Many jurisdictions have a specific form that is filed with the governing body to allow the accept/deny decision to be forestalled until a complete investigation can be completed.

Vector Graphic Of Hand Gesture Pay Without Prejudice With Dollar Sign Icon

Many attorneys, carriers, and TPA‘s discourage this method of payment. I, however, have always seen this as a great risk management tool. The period can be extended for up to 90 days in some states.

The accuracy of the form that is filed is very important.  Different parties including the claimant attorneys examine this type of form under a microscope.  The form should be reviewed before filing with the state Workers Comp governing body.

Most states require a compensability decision within 14 days.  Some states do not allow a pay without prejudice period while the adjuster further investigates the claim.   Once a decision is made to admit compensability  and begin paying benefits, denying the claim after this point can be futile and expensive.

An example of a pay without prejudice form can be found here.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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