During the course of your claim, the worker’s compensation (WC) carrier may offer you a lump sum settlement, called a Compromise and Release (C&R). The advantage of settling your claim is that you may choose your own doctor instead of being forced to use the WC carrier’s doctors. You may decide when you get the treatment and what treatment you will get, all without having to seek permission from the WC carrier, having the request submitted to Utilization Review, seeking Independent Medical Review, or going to court to get the treatment. The disadvantage is you get to pay for it. By settling your claim, you will be responsible for all future medical treatment even if your condition gets worse. You go your way, the insurance company goes its way. It never hears from you again. The settlement is a final end to the WC claim.
When evaluating the value of your WC claim, it is important to know what compensation you will NOT receive. You do NOT receive compensation for pain and suffering. No matter how much pain you endure or how long it lasts, you will not receive compensation for it. You will NOT obtain compensation for the impact the injury has had on your life. If there are things you did or wanted to do but will no longer be able to do because of your work injury, there is no compensation for that loss. Finally, you will NOT recover your loss of future earnings. Regardless of what you might have made in the future had you not been hurt, you will not recover for this loss.
The C&R will be composed of two primary factors: permanent disability and future medical care costs. We will provide you with our reasonable assessment of both components when determining whether to accept or reject a C&R offer.
We are obligated to convey any offer, regardless of its merits. However, this is your case, not ours. If you choose to accept the offer, that is your right.
The law firm of Ghitterman, Ghitterman and Feld helps employees in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, disability retirement, personal injury, labor and employment issues. Founded in 1956, the firm now has offices in Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Kern County, Tulare County, and Fresno County. The firm is proud to continue this tradition of securing all available rights for the injured and disabled in our community. For more information about what we do, how we might be about to help, or resources, see our website at www.ghitterman.com.