Friday, August 5, 2011

To Settle or Not to Settle in AZ Work Comp Claim

One of the most important things we do as Arizona workers compensation attorneys is helping clients decide whether and when to settle their case.  Arizona work injury claims can be settled by a process called a Compromise and Settlement Agreement.  Usually, there is a requirement that a bona fide dispute exists between the parties to settle a case. 

Sometimes cases are settled at the compensability level, before the claim has been accepted by the insurance carrier.  If there is a decent chance that you will lose your claim, this may be a good option - as the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

Other issues that settle include an injured workers' entitlement to permanent benefits.  This is essentially negotiating a lump sum payment from the insurance carrier in lieu of permanent monthly payments.  I call this the quick nickel over the slow dime.  Many times the insurance carrier wants to settle the injured workers' entitlement to supportive medical care at the same time. 

Some issues in a work comp claim can be handled without an attorney.  Settling a case is DEFINITELY NOT one of them.  You should consult with an Arizona Workers Compensation Attorney prior to talking to the insurance company about settlement.  Many factors go into determining how much your case is worth and what rights you are bargaining away. 

Chad T. Snow is an attorney in Tucson and Phoenix Arizona who handles workers compensation and Social Security disability cases.  He can be reached through his website at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley or by calling (602) 532-0700 OR (520) 647-9000. 

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