You know that if you suffer injuries while on the job in California, you have the right to certain benefits and support through your employer's workers' compensation insurance. Applying for these benefits is just the first step in the process, however, and fairly settling your case may be a key component in your full and fair recovery.
What happens when your case is resolved?
Resolving your case involves a final agreement between you and the judge or the case administrator regarding your future medical care and continued workers' compensation payments. Any settlement is subject to review by a workers' compensation judge.
California workers' compensation cases can reach a settlement by one of two ways. The two types of settlements are:
- Stipulation: With this type of settlement, the injured will receive payments for either a temporary or permanent disability. These payments usually come on a biweekly basis. A stipulation settlement leaves medical care open for your lifetime.
- Compromise and release: This type of settlement involves a one-time payment, usually paid as a lump sum. If medical care is included with the lump sum, you will be responsible for any medical care needed from that point on.
Resolving your case does not necessarily require the assistance of an attorney, but you will find great benefit in allowing an experienced legal ally to advocate on your behalf, especially when negotiating a final settlement amount for your case. A lawyer familiar with your rights as an injured worker and with California's workers' compensation law can help ensure that you receive a settlement amount that reflects both your current and future needs.
Your rights after suffering a work injury
An accident at work can leave you in pain, unable to work for a certain period of time and uncertain of your financial future. This is an unfortunate situation, but you have the right to medical care, recovery of lost wages and restitution of any continued medical needs. Receiving a fair settlement through stipulation or compromise is a step toward a proper recovery and a timely return to work.
Protecting your rights is an important part of your recovery, both physically and financially, and it can be beneficial to secure legal help as soon as possible after suffering an injury in the workplace. From negotiating with the insurance company on a fair settlement amount to getting the medical care you need, you do not have to face the process alone.