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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    8

    Talking Settle vs. Going to Trial

    Would like to know the Pros vs. Cons of taking a Settlement or going to Trial.

    I am getting close to my trial date and the IC is now talking about a settlement. I am advised that my case is good.

    The settlement would be decent but there would have to be a MSA because my SSD hearing is quite soon too.

    Is it better to take a settlement or go to trial? What is the normal outcome of going to trial if it is in your favor? From what I have learned, you get 100% of past lost wages, mileage, past medical liens payed and most likely I would be put back on WC benefits. Does this sound right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Settle vs. Going to Trial

    I have a case pending myself......Follow your attornys lead! They know what is best! There is a chance maybe even a slim one that if it goes to court you can get less and or nothing.....So to say its 50/50 is an understatment.....Thats what I have in the back of my head....Been told the closer it gets to court date the more serius both sides get.....My own attorny stated that is a big deal to go to court, lots of prep and could last for weeks....He said most dont get that far, and the ones that due are a big deal! Good luck and I will hope and pray for the best out come for you!!! Sounds like mine keeps getting delyed due to more and more deps.? idk? Last I heard the number was up to 35 people and no "prfessional deps." taken yet!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Settle vs. Going to Trial

    Info on the WC system, mediation, hearings etc is here http://www.workerscompensationinsura...376#post147376

    As the system is administrative law, and the parties are encouraged to come to informal agreement to resolve disputed issues, as well as settlement, the risk of not coming to agreement and taking the claim to trial can be high. The judge cannot order a settlement by lump sum cash payment, only the indemnity due, based on the PD/impairment suffered due to injury, and access to additional medical care.
    The risk is, IW may receive a "take nothing" decision from a judge. The best case scenario is a ''split the baby'' decision.
    The carrier wants as little as possible payment due, the IW the most. Obviously there is a dispute to the facts surrounding the claim, the parties can't agree so the judge will "agree" and come to a stipulated agreement where the parties couldn't. A little less for both parties than what they want. With neither being completely happy.
    I am advised that my case is good.
    Its not like personal injury, there is no burden of proof, no one disputes you are injured, only to the extent of benefits due. "good case/bad case' isn't really the issue.
    The settlement would be decent but there would have to be a MSA because my SSD hearing is quite soon too.
    The WCMSA is not an issue to be resolved at trial. As above, judge can't order a cash payment to close the medical in your claim.
    .
    From what I have learned, you get 100% of past lost wages, mileage, past medical liens payed and most likely I would be put back on WC benefits. Does this sound right?
    All you get at trial is the indemnity due, any unpaid benefits, ie mileage, self procured medical care,(out of your pocket costs) and award of atty fees. There isn't anything else in WC

    There is no compensation for "lost wages", only unpaid TTD.
    Medical liens are generally handled at lien conference. IWs are not party to liens as a rule.

    Pros/cons..? There aren't really any "pros" to going to trial. The 'con' would be the inablitiy for the parties to come to informal agreement to resolves the disputed issues.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Settle vs. Going to Trial

    My ex lost a whole hand in a stamping plant, after 5 years of weekly pmts he sued, it took about 2 years, went to trial and received a very nice sum because it affected him for the rest of his life
    and he was young at the time of the accident and the plant was at fault for safety equip on the machine. The offer that was made before trial was laughable. They were not laughing after the trial I can
    tell you that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Settle vs. Going to Trial

    What no one has mentioned here is that when you show up for the trial the insurance company may offer to pay up. If you agree to that and I believe to anything short of trial, they don't stand by it. They will probably pay what they owe, just to get you to sign, but then will immediately go back to not paying. And then It will take another 2+ years to get to trial again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,956

    Default Re: Settle vs. Going to Trial

    Woos, did your ex sue civilly due to the safety failure, or did he get that outcome from workers' comp? What you are describing does not sound like a work comp outcome. For instance, in NC, the complete loss of a hand is worth 200 weeks of the comp rate, and in a traumatic amputation, that money is likely to be tendered without a trial. Of course, in NC we currently have an election of benefits depending on the facts of the case.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

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