We often receive questions from injured workers about how they can settle their workers’ compensation case. Here is some basic information about finally bringing a workers compensation case to a conclusion.
The usual prerequisite to concluding a case is a “rating” from a physician that describes the medical limitations – often referred to as impairment or work restrictions. The rating percentage from the physician should be modified by a State of California formula that will produce a final permanent disability rating, which produces a dollar value. If this process sounds complex, it is, especially in serious injuries.
Once the amount of permanent disability is determined, settlement negotiations may occur, and an Award can be obtained from the Workers Compensation Judge.
There are usually two types of settlements.
1. A Compromise and Release is a one-time lump sum settlement that is agreed on by you and the claims administrator and closes ALL rights you may have against the employer and its insurance company. Be careful – claims administrators often try to shift unpaid medical bills to the injured workers. Also, such provisions can create problems with Medicare and other benefits later.
2. A Stipulation with Request for Award will commit the claims administrator to pay weekly installment payments for a period of time for permanent disability and leave future medical open. Claims administrators often force you to waive any penalties for late benefits and omit injured parts of your body, so read the proposal very carefully.
Both types of settlements must be reviewed and approved by a Workers Compensation Judge.
Of course, each case requires individual analysis, and the type of settlement that may be best for you depends on many factors.
If you would like to discuss your circumstances, feel free to contact us at 714-547-5025.
The consultation is always free and confidential.