Once the final reports needed to settle your claim are received, your case is ready for settlement. There are generally two ways to settle a claim.
How you settle your case is your decision. Generally, people who have, or will have, access to a health care plan through their spouse or future employment will want to settle with a C&R. But, if you believe that your condition will continue to worsen over the next few years, you may want to settle with a Stipulation so you can reopen your case at a later date.
A settlement in workers’ compensation does not become final until it has been reviewed and agreed upon by a Judge at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. The general steps to finalize a settlement are as follows:
If your case has settled by Compromise and Release, you will receive your lump sum payment within 25 days from the date the Order Approving is received by the insurance carrier or their attorney.
If your case has settled by Stipulations and you were prior receiving permanent disability advances, there should be no change in your continued receipt of those benefits. The insurance carrier will continue to pay you on a bi-weekly basis until the full settlement value has been reached. However, if you are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance Allowance at the time of settlement, your permanent disability award will not begin being paid until you are no longer receiving the maintenance allowance.
You must remember that any permanent disability advances prior made by the defendants will be deducted from your overall settlement. There may also have been credits taken by the insurance carrier for an overpayment of temporary disability benefits or vocational rehabilitation maintenance allowance. Your attorneys’ fees are also deducted from the settlement. If you still disagree with the deductions taken, you can request an Accounting of benefits and credits from the insurance carrier to compare with your records.
If settlement cannot be reached voluntarily, a hearing may be requested before a judge at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. One or both parties may file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed. This document tells the court that that party is ready to reach a settlement agreement but there has been some problem with obtaining one without the court’s assistance. The other party can object to setting the matter for hearing, but unless there are very good grounds for denying the request for hearing, the court generally will set the case for a Mandatory Settlement Conference or Pre-Trial Conference within 30 days from the date they receive the request for hearing.
There was excellent communication. If I didn’t understand something, Adam explained it. I was informed of what to be expected as the case was moving along. Very satisfied with the service.
I am very pleased with the services provided by Mehlhop & Vogt. The firm knows what they are doing and gets stuff done! I always felt respected and cared for. Adam always answered my questions right away and with great detail.
I liked the way Mr. Mehlhop handled my case, he was very professional at all times. I feel like he did the best he could considering my wages.