Orange County workers compensation cases find resolution in one of two ways, an Award settlement, or a Compromise and Release settlement.
An Award settlement may hold the insurance company responsible for continued lifetime medical care in an effort to relieve or cure the effects of an industrial injury. For injured workers concerned about being able to cover the costs of significant future medical care, an Award settlement is the preferred outcome. In addition, permanently disabled workers are entitled to a monetary award. This award is received in weekly payments over a given period of time, which is determined depending on the severity of the permanent disability.
A Compromise and Release settlement awards the injured worker a specific sum of money, based on a prior agreement between the worker and the employer or insurance company. A Compromise and Release settlement can only be realized if an agreement can be reached between the two negotiating parties. By signing this agreement, the injured worker must release the employer or insurance company of all responsibilities pertaining to future medical procedures and expenses. The injured worker is entitled to an award if an agreement cannot be reached, and has the right to reopen the case within five years of the award to reassess disability benefits.
An injured worker should seek consultation with an attorney experienced with Orange County workers compensation rules and regulations for guidance as to which settlement is the most appropriate for the worker’s unique circumstances. If the injured worker seeks to pursue an Award settlement, an attorney will work to ensure that in addition to a monetary award, the injured worker will have access to all necessary future medical procedures. With a Compromise and Release settlement, an attorney’s goal is to negotiate the best monetary settlement possible for the injured worker.