WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: WHAT RESOLUTIONS/SETTLEMENTS ARE THERE?
Generally, your workers’ compensation case is ready to settle when the doctor determines that your medical condition has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (your condition is not going to get any better or worse).
There are three (3) ways for a workers’ compensation case to resolve.
The first way is by Stipulation with Request for Award. In this method, the parties (you and the employer insurance company) agree to resolve/settle certain issues in the case: date of injury; occupation; body parts injured; wage amount; period of temporary disability; temporary disability rate; temporary disability payments; permanent disability; mileage reimbursement; future medical; doctor’s bills; etc. In most cases, the amount of the settlement is paid out over a period of time. If you hire an Attorney, the other side’s attorney’s fees are deducted from your settlement. This type of settlement must be approved of by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Court Judge.
The second way a workers’ compensation case is settled is by Compromise and Release. This method also takes into consideration the above facts, but may result in additional sums being added to the settlement amount to buy out future medical benefits, etc. This type of settlement usually results in a lump sum settlement payment instead of a payment over a period of time. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Court Judge must approve this type of settlement as well.
The third way to resolve your case is to go to Trial and have the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Court Judge issue Findings and an Award. This will usually require the injured worker to testify under penalty of perjury before the Judge who will consider the testimony and credibility of the witnesses, documentary evidence such as medical reports and records, depositions, and the like, and Stipulation and Award the parties reach on particular issues. If an Award is issued in the injured worker’s favor, then attorney’s fees will be deducted and the amount owed to the injured worker will usually be paid over a period of time.
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Last update: June 2018.