If you have been injured and are seeking workers’ compensation or in the middle of a claim, you may have some questions. Now we have answered some of these questions and offer our experience to you to settle your claim. What is a stipulated finding and award? A stipulated finding and award is entered in upon by both sides rather than being imposed by the judge in the judge’s decision. However, the judge must still “approve” of the finding and then it has the same effect as any other trial would when an “award” is reached. In most cases, the biggest circumstance under review in a finding and award deals primarily with the percentage of disability that a plaintiff wants and whether or not they will need further medical care. Due to the stipulated finding and award, the percentage of disability agreed to as well as the number of weeks to be paid are agreed upon. If you find out that you are, in fact, entitled to medical care in the future, you will have to call the insurance company before you receive it. What is a compromise and release? This is a closing of the entire case and the elimination of the need for payments over a period of time. You may consider a compromise and release if you have a right to medical care but choose to pay for it yourself. If you decide to close on this option, then you will typically be compensated for taking care of matters on your own and relieving the insurance company from having to take care of your medical care themselves. The amount of compromise and release is usually more than the amount of disability that you would have received over time. However, what you should remember is that a compromise and release is not always a viable choice. Sometimes, the insurance company will not want to choose this option and you will be left with no choice. Will my settlement affect vocational rehabilitation? No, receiving compensation benefits should not be affected by participating in a vocational rehabilitation program. You may have questions about what vocational rehabilitation entails. Workers are entitled to this type of rehabilitation when they have been injured in the workplace. Some of the benefits include on-the-job training where necessary, transferable skills testing, resume and job application services, interview skills assistance, labor market surveys, job search assistance, counseling, and reasonable accommodation. Depending on your situation, you will find out how much vocational rehabilitation is available to you. Can I get all the money from workers’ compensation and keep the medical open? Theoretically, in some cases you will be able to settle a workers’ compensation case and keep medical open. However, in most cases this is not possible because many claims adjusters will not deal with the risks involved. This is why, if you wish to keep the money from your workers’ comp and keep medical open, you will have to go to trial to make your demands. However, you will be putting trust in the judge’s hands and may not end up with the result you were expecting. What happens if my case is settled? You may have concerns about going in front of the judge for many reasons, or getting “cheated” in your case. You may decide to settle when you weigh your options and decide that the amount of money you would receive is enough to take care of the costs of your accident. You may decide it is not worth losing any more than that. An attorney will be able to help you come to that conclusion and weigh the risks and options. What happens if the insurance company won’t make a reasonable offer? In some cases, you may realistically have to settle because you will not be entitled to more than they have already offered you based on your injuries. However, you can keep attempting to get a better offer through mediation or court if you feel it is in your best interest. If you have been injured in the workplace, you may wonder where to turn. It may seem like you have exhausted all options, but you still have us on your side, fighting for your rights every step of the way. Call us at The RAWA Law Group today for more information on your case.
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