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WAYS TO EXPEDITE SETTLEMENTS

Saturday, December 1, 2001 | 708 | 0 | min read

1. Submit a complete packet with the Compromise and Release or Stip including medical reports. Make sure the settlement documents are complete and you cover everything you need including body parts.

2 Put the Compromise and Release or Stip on top of the submitted packet This is very important.

3. Holes should be punched on top of all submitted documents so clerks can brad the documents to create Board file(s). This is in compliance with 10392 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

4. Include an Order Approving document with the submitted Compromise and Release so all the judge has to do is check the appropriate boxes and sign the Order Approving.

5. Make sure the settlement documents are fully executed, signed by the applicant and the insurance representative. If applicant is represented, also have the attorney sign.

6. Make sure either a public notary or two disinterested witness signatures sign page two of the Compromise and Release.

7. On any claim with a date at injury between 01/01/90 through 12/31/93, be sure a DWC-1 is submitted. On a represented case, a DWC-3 (disclosure statement) is needed.

8. Submit one copy of a Compromise and Release or Stip for each date of injury being settled. A Board file is set up for each date at injury and each is assigned a WCAB number.

9. Make sure a Notice of Benefits is sent to the injured worker upon the initial filing of a claim advising them of their rights.

10. Keep the addendums fair and succinct. Don't include issues that the WCAB does not have jurisdiction on such as A.D.A. (American's with Disabilities Act) or FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Authority). If you do, the judge may question them or have you provide proof to demonstrate fairness. Also, don't be too restrictive.

11. Make a reasonable effort to resolve all liens of record, especially EDD liens and child support liens (efforts must be shown in writing). EDD liens must be resolved before submission.

12. If requesting a Thomas Finding, support it with facts to substantiate your request that no compensability can be found.

13. Make sure TD was paid at the proper rate. If TD was paid less than maximum, please provide a wage statement, Pay close attention to L.C. 4661.5, the two-year rule, where the applicant may be entitled to a higher TD rate if his wages qualify him for the same.

14. When the WCAB number is known, please include on the settlement document.

15. Vocational Rehab declination statements (RB or RU 107) should not be included with the settlement as this is the Rehabilitation Unit's jurisdiction nor should future rehabilitation benefits be settled in a Compromise and Release unless the case qualifies for a Thomas.

16. A Rogers Waiver needs to be explained to the injured worker before they sign it.

17. Make sure that you list what benefits have been paid, especially medical bills to date, TD and periods of TD, and PDA's to date (adequately compensated is not acceptable for TD).

18. Most judges don't like to see language indicating 'entire period of employment with this employer' is covered by a Compromise and Release on a specific injury.

19. The disclosure statement (for represented cases) should indicate up to 15% especially if the applicant's attorney is requesting that much in attorney fees. Most disclosure statements indicate 12% yet the applicant's attorney is requesting 15%.

21 When submitting a Data Entry Sheet make sure names and addresses of all parties are listed. Use a Board form or make sure whatever form you use covers the same material.

21. Tab the Permanent and Stationary reports so the judge can make quick reference to them.

22. On a represented injured worker's case, if a Compromise and Release is for less than applicant's medicals with no defense medicals, or it is less than a split in medicals, indicate to us why we should approve it (e.g. what is the defect in applicant's case).

23. If you plan to walk-through a Compromise and Release, be prepared to talk about the Compromise and Release to the judge or the Information and Assistance Officer.

24. Underline or emphasize critical parts of a Compromise and Release, such as a Carter, Rogers, Sumner, or a Thomas. Except for the Thomas, they all must be in accord with Camerena (56 CCC 589).

25. Make sure that you use language on the Compromise and Release taking credit for any PD advances to date and through the Order Approving.

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