Legal Question in Workers Comp in California

i had and accident at work, i took the settlement in payments. I was told at the settlement I would get a weekly pension when my settlement amount was done being paid out. They told me my pension was on a pause for 2 years. Why?? Also they kept out about $3400. for future lawyer fees, that is if I ever need one.

re 2 years. If I would have known that I would have taken the settlement in one lump sum. What is a pause and why???

Asked on 1/25/12, 5:33 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nancy Wallace Nancy Wallace Atty at Law

Wow you lost attorneys fees and had no lawyer, that's unheard of in Southern California. You may as well have had an attorney since you never saw the money, and folks with attorneys are shown to receive 40% more so you really missed out.

WHY AGREE OR SIGN a document with 'future' lawyer fees in case you get one when there is none? Wish you hadn't signed that. You would have received more cash if you went to trial without an attorney... the judge wouldn't award any attorney fees when there was never an attorney.

NOW: if you had an old attorney and fired him and represented yourself, the money was withheld for you and prior attorney to fight over. That's totally different than setting aside fees in case you might get one in the future.

The 'pause' in Permanent Disability benefits comes from 104 weeks (2 years) of disability benefits being paid out in advance (i think!). You agreed /signed a contract that said there was a Permanent & Stationary date on it. when the insurer pays temporary past the Permanent & Stationary date, they re-label that money as Permanent disability Indemnity advances. So you agreed with your signature is that you reached Maximum Medical Improvement on a date years back and that the insurer got to re-label payments made after that date and you are not due Permanent Disability until all those weeks have passed.

Which is why you needed to hire a Certified Specialist in Workers Comp at the outset of the claim instead of guessing and signing anything.

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Answered on 1/31/12, 4:45 pm

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