What is a Mandatory Settlement Conference in a Workers Comp Case?
A mandatory settlement conference is what happens when a workers’ compensation hearing allows the injured worker and the insurance company to discuss disputed issues. This conference is also where the parties can set the case up for the trial if needed.
Each party fills out a joint statement referred to as a Pretrial Conference Statement that defines the agreed and disputed facts. The judge will use this information throughout the trial.
An injured worker can contact a workers’ compensation attorney if they feel that a mandatory settlement conference will not be helpful. An experienced Orange County workers compensation lawyer can help the individual understand if they want to settle their case or go through with a trial.
Common issues that arise at a mandatory settlement conference:
- If there is an injury from work?
- Which part or parts of the workers body was injured?
- If the injured worker qualifies for temporary disability?
- If they need to receive permanent disability and the amount?
If both parties can answer these and come to an agreement, the case is settled. If not, it will move forward to a trial.
Related: Return to work supplement
Requesting A Mandatory Settlement Conference
In order to be able to request a mandatory settlement conference, the injured worker must have a Workers Comp case number. Only the injured worker or a lawyer working on their behalf can make the request.
Each DOR will have slightly different requirements depending on individual cases. The preparer of the DOR must describe all efforts they made to fix the problem before submitting the DOR. The DOR preparer must swear under penalty of perjury that each statement is accurate.
Invictus Lawers can help you get the worker’s compensation that you deserve. Contact them today.
What is a Rating MSC
The Disability Evaluation Unit (DEU) will pre-rate medical reports evaluating the injured employee’s condition before the hearing, just like other MSCs.
However, the DEU is part of the Department of Workers’ Compensation and determines any disability percentage ratings based on the medical reports. By having these reports rated before the trial, involved parties can reach an agreement before the hearing and determine the value of the permanent disability.
What is a Priority Conference?
A Priority Conference is set to determine whether or not the injury in question is work-related.
The decision can be made in two ways:
- If someone is not your employee when they are injured, there is no workers’ compensation claim against you.
- Alternatively, if the injured party was an employee at the time of the claim, there may still be no claim if there is no injury or the injury occurred outside of work.
If the insurance company can prove either of these above issues, the workman’s comp case will be over. However, if the injured worker wins, the insurance company will have to provide workers’ compensation benefits.
What is an Expedited Hearing?
An expedited hearing is a type of trial that covers only specific issues that are related to benefits that may or may not be given to an injured worker.
- entitlement to proper medical treatment
- medical treatment in a reliable medical provider network
- legal representation in attendance at medical treatment appointment
- terms of temporary disability
- which benefits an employer will provide
- any other medical issue that requires immediate action
This evidence allows the judge to determine the issue as quickly as possible following an accident or illness so that the injured employee may get prompt medical treatment and wage loss compensation.
What is a Status Conference?
A Status Conference is when the involved parties need input from the judge before they are ready to go to trial.
It’s a chance for an injured employee and their insurance representative to meet in person and resolve a problem that is delaying compensation. A judge will assist both parties in finding a solution so that the process can move forward.
What is a Lien Conference?
A Lien Conference helps define the payment for any necessary medical treatment. The injured worker does not need to be present. These conferences are between the insurance company and medical providers.
The result of the Mandatory Settlement Conference
The case is generally sent through for trial if the issues are not resolved at the MSC. But it can also be set for a Status Conference. The status conference is a gathering where litigants, attorneys, and judges meet to discuss the process of litigation.
It is not typical for a judge to allow a case to be continued to another conference. A party must show “good cause” for why the hearing should be continued.
A judge decides when there is a good cause. But it is not when one side doesn’t have things ready. However, if the case is not prepared to proceed to trial, it may be removed from the calendar.
If the case is ready to head to trial, both the injured employee and insurance company must complete a Pretrial Conference Statement. This statement helps settle any doubts about what’s at issue and provides clarity to one of the parties as to what they’re disputing. This improves courtroom efficiency.
Filling out the Pretrial Conference Statement
The Pre-Trial Conference Statement is a collaborative document that specifies the issues to be decided at trial. It also identifies the issues on which both the injured worker and the insurance company agree, lists witnesses, and records papers and other items that will be presented at trial.
How a Mandatory Settlement Conference Can Obtain a Fair Ruling
Insurance companies are far more qualified than injured workers when it comes to workers’ compensation regulations. These lawyers will often make effective use of their extensive knowledge to secure a favorable settlement.
As an injured worker, it would be favorable to use mandatory settlement conferences with the help of your own experienced lawyers. This is the only way injured workers can effectively balance out insurance companies’ advantage in knowledge of workers’ compensation laws.
Mandatory Settlement Conference
A mandatory settlement conference is an effective tool used by attorneys who are experienced in matters concerning California Workers Compensation Law. The mandatory settlement conference helps both parties reach a quick and precise ruling.
The lawyers of Invictus Law can help walk you through the process of securing a mandatory settlement conference. Call them today.