Negotiating Workers’ Compensation Settlements in California
Securing your workers’ compensation benefits without a trial in the Central Valley
Like many civil litigation matters, the parties in a workers’ compensation case often negotiate and enter into an agreed settlement before trial. You may not get everything you wanted, but your attorney at Perez, Williams, Medina & Rodriguez, LLP ensures that the settlement is fair. You also start receiving your benefits sooner and more efficiently. California law encourages settlement in workers’ compensation cases.
How are settlements determined?
A settlement is a voluntary agreement between you and the other party that determines the outcome of your case and the compensation for your injuries. Sometimes the parties settle without third-party intervention, and sometimes a mediator or arbitrator facilitates settlement. All settlements must be approved by the judge and must be consistent with California workers’ compensation law. Sometimes the parties agree to a weekly payout for a set amount of time, and sometimes the settlement involves a lump-sum payment.
What are California state rules for workers’ compensation settlements?
In California, there are two types of pretrial settlement in workers’ compensation cases:
- Stipulated finding and award (SF&A). This settlement involves the same determinations that the judge would make after a trial. In California, the judge’s decision is called a finding and award. An SF&A is essentially an agreed-upon judgment that the parties draft and the judge then approves. In an SF&A, the parties agree to the number of weeks that benefits will be paid and to the percentage of disability, which may be 100 percent. The SF&A may state that you are entitled to receive future medical care, and special provisions for attorney fees may be made.
- Compromise and release (C&R). This settlement completely closes the case. There are no weekly payments, and there is no right to future medical care. The cash benefit award is usually a bit higher to compensate you for the loss of future medical reimbursement. A C&R may be in your best interest if the doctor says that your future medical prognosis is good; if the doctor says that you may need major surgery later, a C&R may not be possible.
An experienced Central Valley workers’ compensation lawyer can answer any additional questions you may have about the settlement process in California.
Get help with a workers’ compensation settlement from a results-driven law firm in California
At Perez, Williams, Medina & Rodriguez, LLP, we have the resources to investigate the facts, hire experts and otherwise prepare your case. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and wisdom needed to push your case through the system. Contact us at 559-445-0123 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.