HOW MANY PIECES ARE THERE TO THE SETTLEMENT PUZZLE?
Answer: Probably more than you think.
The more issues there are in a negotiation, the greater the opportunity for give and take across issues. This adds flexibility for parties to shape a settlement acceptable to all. Trading across issues in negotiation is called “logrolling.”Every case has its own unique issues. Here is a partial list, some obvious, some I have seen people miss.
- Disability percentage, including whether the disability is caused by an industrial injury
- Applicable Date of Injury
- Past payments- when were Permanent Disability payments supposed to start? Was the right rate used? Were past payments properly characterized as PD- or should they have been TD, Temporary Disability. Is there a TD overpayment?
- If Life Pension payments will be due, when should they start?
- Average Weekly Wage- Have you taken into account overtime and the value of non-cash compensation?
- Ability to perform future work
- Return to Work issues- will the employer provide modified work?
- What about training? Check the new California law about computer purchases.
- What are the accepted body parts?
- What expenses are reasonable and necessary? This can include issues about support services.
- What is the appropriate medical specialty?
- Is the treatment the Applicant wants compensable?
- Is the Applicant’s over-all medical condition likely to shorten life expectancy?