A Workers’ Compensation settlement may bring a large amount of money to your pocket, but before you accept it make sure you understand the basics.
If you have a Workers’ Compensation claim in California, you might be thinking about the big money waiting for you at the end of the rainbow. But before you run after the pot of gold, here are the basics on what happens when a Workers Comp claim settles.
Good bye benefits.
The first thing you need to know is that if you settle your worker’s Compensation case for a lump sum, your bi-weekly benefits will go away. This type of settlement is called a “Compromise and Release” or a C&R. Settling your case by C&R means bringing an end to ongoing payments and an end to free medical treatment.
A Judge has to approve the Settlement
Settling a Workers Compensation in Los Angeles is not as easy as it seems and just because you and your lawyer agreed with the insurance on an amount that doesn’t mean it’s settled. The state of California requires that the parties submit the proposed settlement to the Workers Compensation board for approval.
The Workers’ Compensation board might hold a hearing to review the proposed settlement with all parties. It’s only after the Judge is satisfied that you voluntarily agreed with the terms of the settlement and that the settlement terms are in your best interest that he or she will approve it. Don’t be surprised if the judge doesn’t approve the settlement without modifications.
Taking Permanent Disability benefits into account
Before you decide to settle your case, you should take into account all of the Permanent Disability money you’ve received because this amount will be subtracted from your final settlement. A lot of people confuse the temporary benefits they received in the past with Permanent disability benefits they may also have received before the case is settled.
If you don’t know or are have any doubts of the amount that has been advanced to you through the course of your case you can request a benefit printout from the insurance or have your attorney request one.
Estimating how much your case is worth
Because a Workers Compensation settlement is based on medical evidence and doesn’t deal with pain and suffering, calculating the total worth of your Worker’s Comp case can be very complicated. If it is determined that your injury caused you a degree of permanent disability, your weekly benefits might continue for decades. Therefore, you would have to take into account your future benefits to accurately calculate the present day value of your settlement. In other words, consideration should be given to how much money the insurance company would have to deposit in a bank account or annuity to pay your weekly benefits for some future period, perhaps as much as the next 20 years.
Do you want to know how much your workers compensation case is worth?
The best way to get an idea of the value of your case is to speak to a Workers’ Compensation attorney. With more than 100 years in combined experience protecting injured workers in Los Angeles, Roland, Pennington & Trodden can provide you with expert analysis of your case and help you get the most value for your claim. We offer free consultations, so please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, mail, online case evaluation or simple email.