Workers who are injured on the job deserve proper compensation for the costs of their injuries. Aside from certain exempt workers, nearly every employee in California is entitled to workers’ compensation after any injury related to or suffered during work. However, at times, it can be a difficult process to receive the benefits you deserve. A California workers’ compensation attorney can help employees file a proper claim so that they can receive benefits as soon as possible.
In many instances, reaching a settlement is in the best interest of the worker and enables the claim to be finalized sooner. A Pasadena, CA, workers’ compensation attorney can help you reach a fair settlement with an insurance company, enabling you to receive the money you deserve and move forward with your recovery.
You should receive a settlement that covers a portion of your lost income and the cost of your medical expenses, including surgeries, doctors’ visits, prescriptions, and rehabilitative care.
Compromise and release is a common way that worker’s compensation claims are settled in the state of California. In these instances, the injured party receives a lump sum settlement in exchange for dropping all charges and cases. The lump sum settlement amount would generally be equal to the agreed-upon dollar value of the permanent disability, temporary disability payments, and/or the amount required to cover future medical bills related to the disability.
Once the compromise and release settlement is agreed upon, the worker’s compensation judge can approve the necessary documents, and the lump sum settlement can be dispersed within 30 days from the judge’s approval date.
It should be noted that once a compromise and release settlement is reached, the case is dispensed and cannot be reopened at any point in the future. This is generally advisable for workers who are certain that their medical condition will not deteriorate any further and that the lump sum settlement will indeed cover all related medical expenses.
A second option available for injured workers who would like to settle their claim is the stipulation with request for award. In this situation, the injured worker and the insurance company agree upon a dollar amount of permanent disability or temporary disability. The dollar amount related to future medical expenses remains open and will be paid by the insurance company. The injured worker retains the right to seek further necessary medical treatment.
These types of settlements are not considered final, as the worker has the right to reopen the case if the worker’s medical condition worsens. Generally, the case can be reopened in the event that the injury worsens, as long as it occurs within five years of the date of the original injury. If and when the case is reopened, the worker can then be reexamined, and if it is found that the condition has indeed worsened, the worker could be entitled to additional workers’ compensation benefits.
This type of settlement is generally less sought after because it involves ongoing talks and negotiations with the insurance company. It can be difficult to keep going back to the insurance company time and time again to request the proper paperwork related to the reexamination. Many people would prefer to finish their claim in one final determination.
However, if you believe there is a possibility that your medical condition could worsen, it may be beneficial to explore the stipulation with a request for award settlement option.
A: The standard timeline for a worker’s compensation settlement to be disbursed is within 30 days. This timeline can vary depending on the case, but usually, a judge will approve the settlement after an informal hearing in which you demonstrate that you understand and agree to the terms of the settlement. After this hearing, funds can be disbursed within 30 days in most cases.
A: Worker’s compensation settlements in California are not taxable. This includes all types of workers’ compensation benefits, from medical expenses to lost wages, permanent disability, and death benefits. These benefits are designed to help the injured worker cover necessary expenses. To ensure that the full amount of compensation is received by the injured worker, no taxes are due.
A: In the state of California, once you have agreed to a workers’ compensation settlement claim, there will be paperwork to sign. Your attorney can review the paperwork and properly explain the terms to you. You will go before a judge to demonstrate that you understand and agree to the terms of the settlement, and funds can then be dispersed to you. It is important that you plan ahead and carefully allocate settlement funds so that they support your recovery.
A: The balance of the settlement check is usually available anywhere from two to six weeks after a settlement is agreed upon. After applicable liens and fees are paid, the check can then be cleared. The time in which your check can be cleared will be dependent on the specific circumstances of your case.
It is important to be aware of your options and rights under California worker’s compensation law. Before settling a case, it is always smart to consult with a qualified attorney. An experienced attorney can evaluate the claim, negotiate with employers and insurance companies, and review potential offer amounts. The workers’ compensation claim process can feel overwhelming and tedious, often requiring the support of a skilled lawyer.
At Barry Law Group, we understand the intricacies and complexities that surround workers’ compensation benefits, claims, and settlements. If you have been injured while on the job or have any questions regarding your options related to workers’ compensation, contact us today for personalized and professional support.
Barry Law Group is comprised of attorneys and longtime staff members who are committed to the success of your legal matter. The firm understands that for most litigation is uncharted worrisome and often terrifying.