When Will Workers’ Comp Offer a Settlement in California? 2024

Barry Law Group
When Will Workers’ Comp Offer a Settlement in California? 2024

A workers’ compensation claim allows an injured employee to receive coverage for medical costs, lost income, lost earning capacity, and other losses. To get these benefits, employees often have to negotiate with their employer’s insurance provider. Most workers’ compensation claims are resolved through private settlement. It can be frustrating as you go through this process, especially since you’re waiting for the settlement to cover the costs and losses that you are still dealing with. It can be helpful to understand how long workers’ comp cases take to settle and what factors affect this length of time.

If you’ve been injured or developed a condition because of your job duties, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. The most effective way to improve your chances in negotiations is to work with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Encino, CA.

How Soon Will a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provider Settle?

In some situations, a workers’ compensation claim could have a settlement offer in only a few days after you file your claim. If your injury is minor and has straightforward damages, this may be good, and it means that you can resolve the claim quickly.

However, it’s important to review quick settlements with your attorney. Your employer’s insurance provider often has the main goal to limit liability and expenses. A fast settlement may be a sign that the provider wants you to accept a settlement that does not cover the necessary costs, or they want to avoid having to cover potential complications. You never want to accept a settlement and find yourself with excess costs in the future.

Settlement Offers and Maximum Medical Improvement

When insurance providers wait a significant period of time to offer a settlement, they may be waiting until you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI). This could mean that you might wait up to a year or more for a settlement offer. Insurance providers may do this for different reasons:

  • Your injuries were complex or severe, and waiting allowed you, your attorney, and the insurance provider to have a better understanding of the medical care, treatment, and recovery costs you need.
  • The insurance provider is attempting to wait you out in the hopes that you will accept a lesser settlement because you are in financial need.

Factors That Influence When a Settlement Offer Is Made

The unique aspects of your workplace injury will affect when a settlement offer is made. Some of the factors that will affect both the amount of the settlement and when it is offered include:

  • The willingness of all parties to compromise. Not all workers’ compensation insurance providers are unwilling to negotiate, and some will make fair settlements. If all parties are willing to work toward a beneficial settlement, the process will go more quickly.
  • The severity of your condition and medical treatments. If your injury or illness is severe, this will influence the amount of the settlement. This is because your injury will affect your earning capacity well into the future and may result in significant medical complications. A severe injury may have more expensive treatments and rehabilitation costs. These issues will likely take more time to negotiate.
  • Your disability rating. As your condition improves and you reach your MMI, a medical professional will give you a disability rating. The higher this disability rating, the more it impacts your daily life and your ability to do your job. This affects the settlement amount.
  • Denials and appeals of the claim. Your workers’ compensation claim will take longer if the insurance provider denies the claim. This doesn’t mean the end of your claim, but it will mean that you have to appeal the denial, and the case may need to go to trial. A trial takes significantly longer than a privately settled claim.

FAQs About Workers’ Comp Offering a Settlement in California

How Much Do Workers’ Comp Lawyers Charge in California?

Many workers’ compensation attorneys in California work on a contingency fee. If the attorney is successful in obtaining compensation for an injured employee, the attorney receives a percentage of the settlement as payment. In California, the court assigns the percentage, and it is generally 9 to 15%. The court chooses the percentage based on the complexity of the workers’ comp claim and how long it took to settle. When an attorney works on a contingency fee basis, the employee only owes them fees if a settlement is obtained.

How Much Is the Average Workers’ Comp Settlement in California?

Every workers’ compensation claim is unique, and the settlement amount relies on the factors of the claim. A claim may result in several thousand dollars or several hundred thousand. The settlement amount will rely on factors such as:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The length of time your recovery is expected to be
  • Your income prior to the injury
  • Your anticipated earning capacity
  • If you can return to your job
  • If the condition is expected to have complications

The most effective way to determine the likely settlement amount for your workplace injury is to have a workers’ compensation attorney review your situation.

How Long Can You Be on Workers’ Comp in California?

If you receive temporary disability benefits, these may last up to 104 weeks, depending on the injury’s severity. For each week, you receive ⅔ of your average weekly earnings. You don’t have to receive the 104 weeks consecutively as long as you receive them all within 2 years. Temporary benefits could also last up to 240 weeks for specific injuries.

If you receive permanent disability benefits, it does not mean that the payments are permanent. They may last for several months or up to the rest of your life. You may receive permanent disability benefits if you are permanently impaired because of the workplace injury.

How Do I Settle a Workers’ Comp Claim in California?

In California, you can settle a workers’ compensation claim through a lump-sum payment or through weekly paid disability benefits. Settling a claim effectively and to your benefit is easiest when you work with a qualified attorney. They can guide you through the entire process and help maximize the benefits you earn.

Legal Representation in California

If you’ve been in a workplace accident, or discovered a developmental injury or illness, you want to work with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. At Barry Law Group, our attorneys can help you calculate the compensation you deserve for medical costs and lost income. We know how overwhelming it can be to recover from an injury while navigating the legal claim system. Contact Barry Law Group today to see how we can support you.

Success of Your
Legal Matter.

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.