In California there are three general ways that a workers’ compensation settlement case can resolve or come to an end.
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The best way to settle a claim depends on the facts of every case.
3 Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlement
The three types of ways that you can settle a workers compensation claim or that they can resolve are:
- by compromise and release
- by stipulation with request for award or
- by finding an award after a trial
1. Compromise and release
A compromise and release is a settlement of an entire workers compensation claim.
Generally, there are four types of workers’ comp benefits available to an injured worker are as follows:
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
- The right to future medical care
- A job voucher, if your injury prevents you from returning to that line of work
A compromise and release will generally, settle all issues with the exception of the job voucher after 2013 you will continue to be entitled to a job voucher even if your case settles by compromise and release.
When settling a claim by compromising reliefs often the issues of temporary disability have already been resolved.
Usually, a settlement by compromise and released is based upon the value of the permanent disability percentage resulting from your work injury and the cost of future medical care for your work injuries.
The value of workers compensation case attorneys goal is to maximize the level of permanent disability resulting from your injuries and as a result the money that you are owed for the permanent disability that you have suffered. additionally, their goal is that the doctor’s reports in your case provide you with the maximum future medical care required to treat your injuries it’s with that information that they argue for the largest amount of money for the cost of future medical care in your case.
By settling a case by compromise and release lawyers goal is to get you the maximum amount of money in your pocket in a lump sum payment and it will resolve all issues in your case including access to future medical care.
The law states that for injuries after January 1st 2013 your right to a job voucher if you cannot return to work will remain in addition to your workers’ compensation settlement.
A compromise and release is usually the only type of workers’ compensation settlement in California where the injured worker will receive a lump sum one-time payment when the claim is settled, for that reason is often it is often the preferred method of settlement.
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2. Stipulation with request for award
When a claim is ready to be settled the issues of temporary disability have usually resolved therefore the question becomes what is the level of permanent disability that the injured worker has suffered? and what body parts or body systems is the injured worker entitled to have future medical care for?.
With a stipulation with requests for award there must be an agreement between the injured workers attorneys and the attorneys for the employer about the percentage of disability that the injured worker has suffered as a result of the work injury, that percentage has a dollar value corresponding to the percentage of permanent disability.
I know it sounds a little weird, but there is literally a dollar figure table which says what the value is for the percentage of permanent disability that the person has suffered based on the year, you will generally not receive a lump sum payment of the permanent disability payments that you are owed for dates of injury 2016 and later the maximum payment that you will receive per week is 290$ until the total permanent disability payments have been paid out in its entirety.
When a case settles by stipulation with requests for award future medical care for the injured body parts or body systems is awarded for life therefore to settle your claim in this manner there must be an agreement between the parties about which body parts and body systems you are entitled to have lifetime medical care for.
3. Finding an award after a trial
Usually, when a case is ready to resolve issues of temporary disability have already been taken care of however, sometimes there are issues of temporary disability that remain outstanding sometimes, there will be disputes between the injured worker and the insurance company about whether temporary disability for a certain period is owed and unpaid, there may also be disputes about the level of permanent disability that the injured worker has sustained because there can be different doctors with different opinions about the level of permanent disability, there may also be disputes about whether the injured worker should have the right to future medical care for different body parts or body systems that were injured as a result of the work injury usually, when there that occurs when there are multiple doctors opinions who disagree about which body parts or body systems the person has sustained injury to.
A workers compensation trial is unique it can be about a very particular issue like whether the insurance company has denied an MRI request on time or a trial can go forward in front of a judge for a decision on all issues which include temporary disability, the level of permanent disability that you’ve suffered, what body parts or body systems you have the right to receive future medical care for, and whether you are entitled to a job voucher because medical evidence suggests that you cannot return to that line of work.
Video: Workers’ Compensation Settlement
It is very important for anyone who wants a workers’ compensation settlement case to know, if you go to trial you will not receive a lump sum payment, you will receive a decision from a judge about any periods of unpaid temporary disability, what your level of permanent disability is and what the corresponding dollar value is and you will have the right to access for future medical care to the body parts or body systems that the judge has decided you have injured as a result of your work injury.
The Workers Compensation Court does not have the power to order that you get paid a large lump sum, a workers compensation judge cannot order that your permanent disability benefits be paid out all at once or that the insurance company must pay you a lump sum for future medical care costs.
If your case goes to trial once the judge has issued a decision you will be paid in the same manner that you would be paid with the previous type of settlement.
Resolving a workers compensation case is something that requires significant thought and consideration to much more than just the medical evidence but also what is going on in the injured workers life and what the goals are for resolving the claim.
I hope now you have now better idea about workers’ compensation settlement process and this guide helps you in anyway.
Having any question or queries let me know in comment section below.
How long do most workers comp settlements take?
The average time to settle a claim is about 12-18 months. However, some cases may take longer than others depending on the complexity of the case. If you have been injured at work, contact our office immediately. We can help you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
What is the highest workers comp settlement?
An employee was injured at work in New York. She slipped and fell on some wet stairs and broke her ankle. Her employer failed to provide proper handrails on the stairs. The woman filed a lawsuit and received a $10 million settlement.