What is a “clincher agreement”?

An agreement whereby the employer pays a lump sum to the employee in exchange for a release by the employee and an agreement never to make any further claims is commonly referred to by lawyers and insurance adjusters as a “clincher agreement.” These agreements must always be approved by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, otherwise they are not valid. Once approved by the Industrial Commission, however, the employee may never again collect any money for the workers’ compensation claim. This is true even if the injured worker’s condition gets worse.