The Work Injury
Law Center

2101 4th St.
Santa Rosa,
CA 95404

 

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Protecting Injured Workers Since 1966

Options to Resolve an Injured Worker's Claim

There are several options to resolve an injured worker’s claim. Careful consideration
with competent counsel is a vital step before any final resolution is approached. The Work Injury Law Center has thousands of settlements successfully resolved and this depth of experience helps guide each client to a thoughtful, productive and appropriate outcome for their individual situation.

A. There are two ways to achieve SETTLEMENT in workers’ compensation claims:

1. Compromise and Release

When an injured worker resolves a claim by Compromise and Release agreement, the injured worker is entitled to receive the net proceeds of the settlement in cash by a single payment. This lump sum is achieved through negotiations between the parties’ legal representatives. The lump sum generally includes: the value of any permanent disability indemnity that is outstanding as of the date of the settlement; any remaining outstanding temporary disability due; agreed-upon amounts that compensate the
injured worker for giving up rights to other benefits (for example future medical care,
the right to reopen the case for increased disability, any vocational benefits that may apply, penalties and interest due, etc.).

2. Stipulations with Request for Award

When parties resolve a claim by Stipulations with Request for Award (Stipulations),
the parties agree to the percentage of permanent disability that the injured worker has suffered (based on medical evidence) which equates to a specified amount of
permanent disability indemnity due the injured worker in weekly amounts (no lump sum). An important component of this type of settlement is the qualified right to continuing treatment. Also, the injured worker keeps the right to reopen the case for new and further disability within a specified time period, and subject to additional supporting medical evidence (preserving these rights can be extremely valuable!).

All settlements, whether by Compromise and Release or by Stipulations, must be reviewed for adequacy and approved by the Workers’ Compensation Judge. All attorneys fees must also be reviewed and approved by the Judge. There are advantages to settlement, including getting rid of the further delays and the potential hazards of litigation. Additionally, settlement eliminates the risk of an unfavorable ruling if the case is tried to a Workers’ Compensation Judge. Settlements result in efficient closure
of the litigated case. However, there are obviously many components to consider and negotiate when settling a claim. The Work Injury Law Center, with its experienced and specialized training in workers’ compensation issues, is skilled at assisting injured workers to choose the best settlement for each client’s needs. In conjunction with client assistance, the attorney negotiates each claim to a settlement
or tries the case to a judge. Mr. Bloom has 37 years experience doing just that!

B. The need for a TRIAL in some cases:

There are various types of hearings depending on the issue disputed between the parties. A trial (regular hearing) is held when the disputed issues in the injured workers’ case (permanent disability, need for future medical care, etc.) can only be resolved by a Workers’ Compensation Judge. The Judge “hears” testimony from the parties and their witnesses, admits evidence and issues a decision. The decisions made by the Workers’ Compensation Judge are called “Findings and Awards” and results in Orders.

When a claim moves to trial, attorney John Bloom and his staff work up the case in a thorough and timely manner. The advocacy at the trial level by Mr. Bloom is well documented by evidence gathered in the preparation phase of the case. The results achieved by Mr. Bloom on behalf of his clients have been predictably solid and productive of the highest outcome achievable, one client at a time! Over the past 37 years, the outcome of Mr. Blooms’ clients’ cases have grown to impressive recoveries for each client.