A worker’s compensation settlement, also called a Compromise and Release, is an agreement between the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company and the injured worker to agree to settle the dispute over the amount of benefits owed to the injured under the California law.
A settlement is usually a final lump-sum payment meant to end the claim of the injured worker. This can be paid out over time in an annuity or it can be paid all at once.
Do I need an attorney to get a worker’s compensation settlement?
No, California WC law does not require the injured worker to have an attorney to settle. However, if you don’t have an attorney, then you are at a disadvantage because most workers do not know the law and what their rights are. It would be smart to at least talk to an attorney.
In almost all cases when someone is injured on the job, the worker will get the best possible outcome by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Does a settlement end my treatment?
Not necessarily. Under WC law, an inured person is entitled to all necessary “evidence based” treatment necessary for the type of injury. Evidence based means that the treatment chosen is scientifically proven to treat the type of injury incurred by the worker. Any settlement would usually have a provision for all future evidence based treatment necessary.
Do I have to pay the WC insurance back any of the money I received when I settle?
Maybe. If you received a PDA (Permanent Disability Advance) then that amount is considered in the final settlement. A PDA is money advanced to the injured worker based on the belief that he or she will have some permanent disability.
The advance can come at any time after there is a belief that there is a permanent disability, and be as much as 100% of the disability amount. You do not have to pay any of the temporary disability payments you were paid while out of work.
How long does it take to get my settlement funds?
From the time you agree to a settlement to the time you get your check is about 30 to 45 days. The first step is to sign the settlement agreement which ends your claims for worker’s compensation for that injury. Then the paperwork is signed by a judge that has oversight on the case. The insurance company usually has their internal review process to make sure the settlement is in order, then the check is issued and sent to the party.
Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Attorney Alice A. Strömbom focuses exclusively on Workers’ Compensation Law. She is very familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to avoid providing the medical treatment and disability benefits injured workers deserve, and has a recognized track record in combating such issues.
Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation.