I have a CA workers comp case and they are offering me a compromise and release.

Asked over 3 years ago - Little Rock, AR

The offer they made was way to low for me to agree to a C&R. I wrote them a letter and told them the minimum I would except for a C&R. This was two weeks ago and I have not heard from them at all. I know that there is a 30 day period to settle this. I feel like they are playing games with me and I am not sure what to do. Do I sit tight and see of they respond or what? What happens if they do not respond to me within the 30 days? Does it effect the case? Help PLEASE!

Additional information

I have consulted a workers comp lawyer twice and he told me what he felt like my case was worth. When I spoke with him last year he did not feel that I needed to retain him. I tried to contact him with no response and I don't live in CA anymore which makes it very difficult to deal with this case.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Nancy J Wallace

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . THERE IS NO 30-day period for a Compromise & Release Agreement. (Not in any Statute, anyway.)

    KNOW that most adjusters don't see their mail for about 3 weeks after it arrives! State Fund adjusters have to wait about 30 days for a 'scanner' to make the mail 'electronic' before they can see you letter on a screen.

    TWO WEEKS is way too soon to panic. You haven't given anybody a chance to 'play games' yet.

    But, of course, the negotiating over a number acceptable to both parties IS a Game. But you know that.

    How about FAXING the Adjuster... the adjuster get's faxes much sooner than a standard letter.

    If you get your C&R Demand made clearly to the adjuster and the adjuster refuses it, you've got two options: accept the lower offer or set the case for Trial.

    The adjuster knows you are 2500 miles away with no lawyer; if I were the adjuster, I would ignore you too. You can't 'drop in' to the local Information & Assistance "I&A" officer to discuss the possibility of setting a Settlement Conference because you're 2,500 miles and a $450 plane ticket away.

    Given this, I wouldn't realistically anticipate a response for about 6 weeks, if that. If I were the adjuster, I would likely ignore you (yes, the Labor Code permits them to do this without retribution), wait a year, then give notice of a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute.

    You being vigilant, you won't let this go for a year without prosecuting. So 'bit the bullet' now and find an attorney -- a Certified specialist in Workers' Comp.

    An attorney can help you long-distance ... I have clients in Texas, Germany, even the Phillipines! I negotiate based on likely outcome at Trial and actual ratings... be sure a REAL attorney will handle the claim and not a Legal Assistant.

  2. Diane Carole Hurst McNamara

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . You should get a lawyer immediately, especially if there is a concern about time limitations. It is worth every penny to have someone who knows the system play the game for you. Your case will surely be adversely affected by the simple fact that you have no lawyer.

    I do not know enough information to tell what the 30 day limitation period is. There are important time limitations for filing a claim. This is called the Statute of Limitations. In Virginia, the Statute of Limitations is two years. The Statute of Limitations may be longer or shorter in your state. If you do not properly file your claim within the limitation period, YOU WILL LOSE ALL YOUR RIGHTS TO WAGE LOSS, MEDICAL BENEFITS and anything else provided by the Workers' Compensation Act, even if the insurer has paid for wage loss, medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation. Many people think they have "filed" their claim because they are being paid, but the claim may not be filed, and your claim may not be protected.

  3. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You need to hire a California Workers' Compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Workers' Compensation benefits are paid pursuant to a formula which starts with the amount of your earnings. You are probably not in the position to truly know whether any offer is fair or not. You need a lawyer to guide you through the process.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the thumbs-up icon below.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. You may contact the writer with these links:

    ccandiano@themargolisfirm.com
    http://www.themargolisfirm.com

  4. Susan Randi Borg

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . It's not clear whether there is a real 30 day time limit or not and the only way to be sure is to consult with a CA lawyer who specializes in workers compensation. Also, a compromise and release settlement is permanent and has major implications for your ability to obtain future medical care. You should be sure that you have evaluated your entire situation with a lawyer who can explain the pros and cons. You can find a CA workers compensation lawyer through this website or by going to CAAA.org.

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