Workers comp wants to settle my claim but offered $5,000.00 for my 11% full body disability, a left knee injury. I've been paid out $8,880.00 total to date. I met with with the Orange County workers comp consultant, information and assistance officer with the workers comp legal council. I was advised by the consultant that $5,000.00 was no where near enough money. I have no idea what I should counter offer and will they come back with a counter-offer of their own?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Personal Injury Lawyer
My suggestion would be to consult with another attorney that could represent you in your Workers' Compensation claim. Although at first look it seems easy enough to do on your own, as you may be finding out now, an experience attorney might have a better grasp on what is (and what is not) an acceptable offer. It is important for the attorney to know all of the facts. Since you have already consulted someone, it probably makes sense to you that you should have some sort of counsel to give you peace of mind. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by the Workers' Compensation carrier. Good luck.
THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT IMPLY OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS IMPLIED OR CREATED BY RESPONDING OR FAILING TO RESPOND TO THIS RESPONSE. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. FOR LEGAL ADVICE, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
First, understand that the information and assistance officer at the W.C.A.B. is not an attorney and cannot represent you.
Second, you need to be clear on why you were paid the $8,880.00. Was that for temporary, total disability (in which case it does not get subtracted from the settlement) or was it permanent, partial disability (in which case it does get subtracted from the settlement)?
Third, there are many factors which go into determining the value of a settlement. What was the year of injury? Did your employer have more than 50 employees? Did you return to work for that employer? Did they offer you work? What are your out of pocket expenses? What are your expected future medical care expenses? How did they arrive at the 11% figure? How long were you off work following the injury? Etc. As you can see, this is a difficult analysis. You should not do it alone. Get an attorney!
There are plenty of excellent workers' comp attorneys in O.C. Find a good one here at www.avvo.com or at www.caaa.org. CAAA is the association for attorneys who represent inured workers here in California. Or you can call me for a referral.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
A Compromise and Release settlement resolves all issues including permanant disability, temporary disability, mileage, out of pocket expenses, penalties, the injured worker's right to reopen for new and further disability, death benefits to dependants and future medical care.
The dollar value on percentages of permanent disability, while established by law, do vary by year of injury and whether or not there were 50 or more employees at the place of employment where the injured worker was hurt. So, there is much to consider when entering into a settlement agreement with an insurance company. Of course, given all the above, I believe you should seek a competent workers' compensation attorney for further advice. He or she can review the medical legal evaluation or report that provided the permanent disaiblity and can seek a supplement report if needed or even depose the doctor.
Best wishes to you.
Please note that this response does not imply an attorney – client relationship. For legal advice please consult an attorney.