Receiving a Settlement for Lost Wages
Many employees miss work when they are injured or suffer a work-related illness. If you are unable to work for a significant period of time, the California Workers’ Compensation program offers benefits for conditions that result in partial and total disability. If your benefits are delayed or your insurer offers a compensation settlement, you need legal help to decide how to proceed.
Located in Oakland, the Law Offices of John E. Hill, P.C. offers effective advice and representation for obtaining the full benefits to which you are entitled. We explain the details of a potential settlement offer that would conclude your case and help you evaluate whether to accept the offer or to continue through further phases of the claim process.Understanding Workers’ Compensation Settlements for Lost Wages
If you are diagnosed with a disability as a result of your workplace injury or illness, your employer or insurance company may opt to dispute the claim. Employers often fight prognoses of the following types of disability:
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) — You are temporarily unable to perform your usual work duties but may be able to work in a different capacity as you recover.
- Temporary total disability (TTD) — You cannot perform any work-related tasks during your recovery.
- Permanent partial disability (PD) — Your injury has caused permanent impairment of a body part, or a permanent loss of function.
- Permanent Total Disability – You are considered unemployable or “not competitive” in the open labor market
As you recover from your illness or injury, your doctor monitors your progress. When you reach a point in the healing process at which your recovery appears complete (or has progressed as far as it will), your condition is considered “permanent and stationary.” Your doctor issues a P&S report that details information about your injury, the types of work you can do and the proximate cause of your disability.
If you are deemed to have a permanent disability, you may be eligible for a wage settlement package from your insurer.Structuring a Benefits Settlement to Suit Your Future
When you reach a point of maximum medical improvement, disputes may arise with your insurer over previously unpaid temporary disability and future claims for permanent disability. Payment for permanent partial disability differs from compensation for permanent total disability.
When you secure representation from the Law Offices of John E. Hill, P.C., our attorneys help you consider important features of your settlement structure, including the following:
- Accepting a lump sum settlement offer from your insurance company usually relieves the insurer of later liability for payment of future wage loss and medical treatment.
- If you can prove that “serious and willful misconduct” on the part of your employer caused your injury, you may be eligible for a considerable increase in the monies owed to you under the Workers’ Compensation system.
It is important that you do not verbally accept any offer from your employer or insurer to settle your Workers’ Compensation case without first receiving adequate advice and considering your options. If the settlement is not structured carefully, you may limit your ability to obtain medical care and other assistance in the future.Work With Workers’ Compensation Attorneys You Can Trust in Northern California
A permanent injury lasts a lifetime. Do not shortchange your future — consult an experienced California Workers’ Compensation attorney at the Law Offices of John E. Hill, P.C. for useful advice. We maintain flexible office hours and offer a free initial consultation. Contact our firm online or call (510) 588-1000 today. Hablamos español.