California Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured California Workers

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  1. #1
    retiredcop Guest

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    What exactly takes place at this hearing?

  2. #2
    maria Guest

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    This is the last hearing before trial on an issue. The parties (attornies) meet and discuss whether they are able to reach a settlement on your case. If not, they will complete a pre-trial conference statement that lists the things they do agree upon, the "issues" that they do not agree upon and want the Judge to decide, and the evidence and witnesses they will produce to prove their side of the case.

    If you are represented by an attorney, you will likely sit in the waiting area while the attorneys talk things over. Your attorney will come out to see that you are present. If they are close to settling, he may come out to speak with you to iron out a few issues or answer a few questions. He may not talk to you much at all. The attorneys will complete their paperwork, talk to the Judge and then possible go to the calendar clerk to get another date. Either a continued MSC date or a Trial date. If you agree to a settlement, they will not get a new date.

    If you are represented by an attorney it is very UNLIKELY that you will personally speak to a Judge. Your attorney will handle that for you.

    If you are not represented, let us on here know and I'll give you a little more detail of what you might want to do to prepare.

  3. #3
    retiredcop Guest

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    Thanks for the replie Maria. Yes, I am represented by a lawyer. Do most cases go to trial? I hope mine is resolved before it goes to trial.

  4. #4
    maria Guest

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    Whether or not your case goes to trial is entirely dependant on the facts of your case.

    Is you claim an accepted injury? They have paid you TTD, medical and started advancing PD.

    What is the dispute? Usually the major dispute is over permanent disability %. Your treating doctor's report rates say 35%, then they send you to, or you request a QME, which then rates 25% or something. Many times, the parties agree on a split of say 30% and resolve the case. Many times they do not. Without a lot of details on you case it would difficult to predict if this is going to go to trial.

    If your claim was denied altogether, the IC may make a lump sum figure offer to settle all aspects of your case, that usually represents about 50% of the total value of your case to date. If you choose not to accept this offer, you could go to trial and it's winner take all, so to speak.

    If you are retired, as your logon would suggest, they may offer you a Compromise and Release to resolve all benefits past, present and future.

    Only your attorney can give you advice on whether to accept any offer.

    When is your MSC?

    Best of Luck

  5. #5
    retiredcop Guest

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    It's set for 12-01-2004.

    As for my case. It has been accepted by the IC. I have had four major surgeries to my right knee over the past three years. Each injury happened while I was on duty. I retired from law enforcement because of the injuries to the knee. My doctor say's I'm 64% disabled in the knee. The IC doctor say's I'm only 35% disabled in the knee. How he can say this when I was only in his office for five minutes, is beyond me.

    The Ic lawyer is doing a deposition on my doctor tomorrow, 11-01-2004. This is six months after I was found P&S. Is this routine? for so much time to pass before the do the doctors deposition.

    Neadless to say my Lawyer is not to happy about the IC lawyer dragging this out longer.

  6. #6
    dennison Guest

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    Retiredcop,
    I do hope you have better luck than others. MSC are supposed to get you closer to the end but beware the IC can always pull another rabbit out of their hat.
    I have had at least 4 MSC hearings and each time the IC manages to further delay, delay, delay....
    So do not get too excited although
    I hope yours goes better.

  7. #7
    maria Guest

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    Yes, it is common to wait until the last minute to do the depositions. If your hearing is Dec. 1. It sounds like the IC set the doctors deposition when they got notice of the hearing, or when your attorney filed for the hearing. They are trying to tie up loose ends to see if there is any way to prove their report is stronger than your doctors.

    At your doctor's depo they will be trying to tear up his opinion, find holes in his statements, show that he did not know about your entire health history or some other potential defense.

    Good luck at your hearing 12/1.

  8. #8
    retiredcop Guest

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    Well I just heard from my lawyer tonight. I guess the doctors deposition went well. He told me that the IC lawyer wants to talk about a settlement. So hopefully this will be over soon. My mandatory settlement hearing is scheduled for 12-01-04. Do you think this will be the day they offer the settlement, or could it be sooner.

  9. #9
    maria Guest

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    Probably not until the date of hearing. It really depends on the defense attorney. Generally, they have to go through channels to get the authority to settle and it involves reports and getting others to sign off, etc..

    Frankly, you'll probably end up on 12/1 getting 30 days to do settlement. If the settlement is not done in 30 days, they'll put you back on the calendar for another MSC a couple months out.

    A couple of calls from your attorney to the IC attorney may keep the ball rolling and prompt the IC to actually work on authority and settlement before the hearing.

  10. #10
    dennison Guest

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    Maria is right on that one.
    Then if they can't come to an agreement at the MSC the Judge might even set it for Trial which might take a while. It's a tough time, don't get your hopes up to high, don't get too excited until you see the dotted line actually in front of you. And the please read the FINE PRINT
    GOOD LUCK.

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