A workers’ compensation Compromise and Release is one way of resolving your workers’ compensation claim. When you sign a Compromise and Release document, you are agreeing to close out your workers’ compensation case in exchange for a lump sum of money.
If you are considering a settlement offer in your California workers’ compensation case, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney before you sign a Compromise and Release. Without the advice of an attorney, you may be agreeing to a settlement below what your case is actually worth. Contact the attorneys at Kneisler and Schondel today to schedule a consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation case along with any settlement offers that may have been made by your employer’s insurance company.
Why Should I Sign a Compromise and Release?
Typically, when you agree to settle your case with a Compromise and Release, you are agreeing to a full and final settlement. This means that after you sign it, you cannot later go back and request that the insurance company pay for additional medical care you may need in connection with your work injury. You also cannot later go back and try to get more money for the same injury, since your settlement is final. There are exceptions to this rule, in cases where the parties agree to open future medical care, or if, for example, there is an agreement in place included in the document that you shall receive a necessary surgery for your condition.
Your workers’ compensation attorney will be able to discuss the pros and cons of signing a proposed Compromise and Release with you. The major benefit of signing a Compromise and Release is that you will receive a lump sum settlement and put an end to your workers’ compensation case. Since work comp cases can drag on for a long time, you will undoubtedly gain a sense of relief knowing that your case has been completed, and that you can now move forward with your life.
What Happens After I Sign a Compromise and Release?
After you have formally settled your case by signing a Compromise and Release, the settlement agreement will need to be reviewed by a judge for approval. The judge will want to know the basic facts of the case, along with the type of injury and the treatment you received for it. If the judge agrees that the settlement terms are fair under the circumstances, he or she will approve the Compromise and Release and your case will be officially settled. If you do not have an attorney at this stage of the process, the judge may conduct an informal hearing to ask you questions about your injuries and treatment. The judge will take this additional step to ensure that you fully understand the settlement that you are agreeing to.
Keep in mind that once the judge has approved the settlement agreement, it may still take some time for you to receive your settlement check. Generally, you will receive your lump sum settlement payout within thirty days after the approval of the settlement.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for My Workers’ Compensation Case If My Employer Has Already Made a Settlement Offer?
While it may be an attractive option to take the first settlement offer that comes your way, this plan may not benefit you in the long run. By hiring an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney, you can sometimes obtain a higher settlement than you may have gotten on your own. Your attorney will be able to review the settlement offer that is currently on the table and help you determine if you should accept it, or if you should continue negotiating for a better offer.
With an attorney handling your case, you will not have to worry about the negotiation process, as he or she will handle that on your behalf. Your only task will be deciding whether or not to accept the offer. You may also elect to proceed to trial on your case and decline any settlement offer. Your attorney will help you make the decision that is best for you. Contact us today at 707-542-5132 or fill out our online contact form to see what we can do for you.