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Settlement Negotiation

In order to get a really big settlement, you have to be really disabled. Most people would rather have health than wealth, if wealth means being in constant or frequent pain and unable to get around. Nonetheless, after you reach what the workers' compensation systems refers to as "maximum medical improvement" or a "permanent and stationary" condition, you should receive the full amount of permanent disability indemnity allowed for your disability.

To get what you are fairly entitled to, you need to know who you are dealing with, how to improve the quality of the medical evidence, how to evaluate the factors of permanent disability and value of future medical treatment, and how to bargain. In short, you need a good deal of technical knowledge and experience negotiating settlements. Considering the small fee involved (Fees & Costs), a "do-it-yourself" approach may prove much more costly. At some point, you will be forced to conclude your case. There are three methods:

1. Complete Settlement of Your Claim (Compromise and Release)

2. Settlement by Stipulations with Request for Award.

3. Findings and Award After Trial or Submission on the Medical Record

If you are considering "buying out" medical treatment, read this first: Calculating the Cost of Future Medical Treatment.

  • Settlements are based on evidence and the risk the employer may have to provide benefits. The amount is not based on "pain and suffering," which is not part of the workers' compensation system. It is not based on lost wages, or the feelings of the injured worker. 
  • You are likely to lose money doing it yourself. For a small fee, an experienced attorney provides important services. The percentage of the fee is the same whether you retain an attorney early in the process or wait til the end, when it is a "mopping up" exercise coping with bad evidence. Why take the risk ?

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