You should be aware it is to your attorney’s advantage for you to C&R. He/she will make more money in fees and you will never come back asking for help with another treatment denial. If your attorney is pushing for a C&R that may be because it is a good option in your case but be warned, a C&R closes the case forever and you are signing away your right to future medical care.
Often a Compromise and Release is a good option. Do you have health insurance? Are you working for a new employer? Are you younger than 65 and not receiving social security or Medicare? Are you confident you will not need time off for surgery in the foreseeable future or have you exhausted most of your 104 weeks of Total Temporary Disability (TTD)? If the answer to most of these questions are “yes,” then a C&R may be a good option for you.
Also, if there is a legitimate dispute over whether your injury occurred at work or for some reason the injury may be found non-compensable by the judge (too many possible reasons to list here), that is a valid reason to C&R.
As for value, most carriers will pay a premium for a C&R. Are you a possible surgical candidate? Do you require on-going treatment? Is this a progressive disease? Without knowing the facts it is hard to comment on value.
The C&R is a state form but almost always there will be an addendum that is incorporated by reference and further protects the employer or carrier’s rights. Items in the addendum are negotiable. If you feel you may have other causes of action, such as a FEHA, FMLA, or labor law issue, consult with a labor attorney before you C&R or make sure the issue is not resolved as part of the C&R (check the paperwork carefully). I also would not sign a Civil Code 1542 waiver. Your attorney should explain the addendum to you.
Hopefully your attorney can provide you with answers to all of your questions. If not consider consulting with a second WC attorney. If you do consult with a second WC attorney, be sure this second attorney is reputable, because you will never find a third attorney to take your case. (All of the attorney’s involved have to share the 15% fee).
Settlement by C&R can be used to resolve specific issue or ALL issues. The latter will result in a complete release of the defendant. If your C&R involves a structured payout, the defendant is purchasing an annuity contract at a cost that is lower than the full payout you should receive. The TERMS of the structure are critical to understand. Some future payments are guaranteed, others require that you be alive at the time they are due. The structuring company can provide you with various estimates of three or more payout schemes. You attorney's is typically no affected by the different payout schemes. The overall payout should account for any yet u paid permanent disability (PD) and temporary disability (TD), as well as a reasonable estimate of your future medical needs. Many settlement justifying a structured payout will require a Medicare Set Aside approved by CMS. This is especially the case when you are Medicare eligible. The future medical estimate is flexible because it is only an estimate. However, CMS approvals remove most if not all of that flexibility. Your attorney may have a dispute about the proper calculation of the PD or TD, or both. The dispute may require a resolution midway between your attorney's calculation and the defendant's.
Your attorney should explain the C&R to your satisfaction. Good luck.
Any person who makes or causes to be made any knowingly false or fraudeulent material statement or material represetation for the purpose of objtaining or denying wokres' compensation benefits or payments is guilty of a felony.
You have an attorney. He is the best person to advise you as he knows the facts of your matter best.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. 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. Links: CJCandiano@CandianoLaw.com http://www.CandianoLaw.com