Worker’s compensation cases for employees injured on the job can culminate in a variety of outcomes. There are various types of agreements under California worker’s compensation law that you can sign to claim your worker’s compensation.
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Here are some of the different ways cases can go that favor the claimant:
Compromise and Release
Sometimes a worker’s compensation case ends in a compromise and release (C&R), in which the claimant waives his or her own claim and accepts a lump settlement instead. If a judge approves such a settlement, it usually permanently closes the case. Many of the California worker’s compensation claims end in this fashion.
Stipulation and Award
A stipulation and award in California is less common than a C&R settlement, since it doesn't involve the claimant receiving a specific lump sum of money. This type of outcome focuses on the level of disability and medical care provisions to be awarded to the claimant.
The cash value is usually much less than a C&R case due to open medical issues. The patient is awarded a weekly disability payment based on AMA guidelines until the complete value of the physical impairment award has been paid. Further medical appointments and treatments will be reviewed and approved by the insurance provider.
Pros and Cons
The main advantage to a C&R settlement is that it provides an immediate solution to medical bills. Sometimes these cases can be reopened and a larger settlement can be awarded to the patient. The key advantage of a stipulation and award scenario is that the case is left open, which can result in continued payments if your impairment worsens within five years of the work-related injury.
The main disadvantage to both types of settlements is that you may receive significantly less money than a normal worker’s compensation settlement, which is up to the insurance carrier. It's best to consult with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney if you are injured on the job.