Whether Or Not To Settle A Workers’ Compensation Claim In California
In a dispute over workers’ compensation benefits in California, it can sometimes be advantageous to all parties to settle.
A Stipulation Is One Form Of Settlement In Disputes Over Workers’ Compensation Benefits In California
In the workers’ compensation settlement context, a stipulation is an agreement between parties as to the percentage of a disability a benefits applicant sustained as a result of the injury. Thus, a stipulation is tied to the essential claim component of a doctor’s recognition of medical evidence that a workplace injury has caused an employee a permanent or temporary disability. In accordance with the doctor’s diagnosis, an employee is eligible for either permanent or temporary disability benefits. In either category, a percentage is assigned to the disability in accordance with its impact on the employee’s ability to perform job duties or daily activities of living. However, sometimes there might be a disagreement between employer and employee as to this percentage – especially if different doctors reach different conclusions as to the nature and extent of injury. While some medical evidence is based strictly on objective grounds, some evidence is inherently subjective, such as a patient’s reporting of pain. The objective/subjective distinction can become especially problematic when a workplace injury is psychological rather than physical. Whatever the category, benefits concern money, and in matters of money, disputes sometimes arise. If you are considering a settlement via stipulation with regard to your workers’ compensation benefits claim in California, you may benefit from the experience of a skilled California workers’ compensation attorney. The greater the percentage you and your employer stipulate with regard to your injury, the more benefits you will receive. An attorney will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible. This can bring you peace of mind, and ensure that the percentage stipulated to results in the stream of benefit payments you deserve, as well as any future medical care, physical therapy, and prescriptions you will need for your injury. Similarly, if you are unable to reach a stipulation agreement, an attorney will make the strongest argument at trial for the most favorable findings and award percentage determination by a judge.
A Compromise In Release Is A Form of Settlement in Disputes Over Workers’ Compensation Benefits In California
In addition to a stipulation or findings and award, a settlement may be reached through a compromise in release. A compromise in release is a lump-sum buyout. It covers all permanent disability and future medical treatment, and allows an insurance company to essentially “wash its hands” of a benefits claim. Insurance companies rarely opt for a compromise in release approach initially. Rather, a company must be shown that it is in the company’s best interests to settle in this manner. In presenting an argument to an insurance company for a compromise in release lump sum payout, the skill of an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney is invaluable. Furthermore, an attorney can provide guidance as to whether a stipulation or compromise in release is the most sensible settlement option.