Mediator Proposals

I see cases– sometimes years later– where the parties were oh-so-close to settling when negotiations broke down. Nobody would compromise their bargaining position to give that last inch, and they didn’t have a mediator to help them bridge the gap. A Secret Response To An Offer Nobody Made A “mediator’s proposal” works like this. I […]

The Elephant in the Mediation Conference Room

Sometimes the issues the lawyers and adjusters are discussing are not what is most important to the Applicant. Recently, in a pretty small case, the professionals told me the disagreements were about what had been paid and what was still due. The injured worker told me his biggest concern was that, although he had returned […]

Death and Taxes

Workers Compensation is one more area where death and taxes must be considered. DEATH Death of an injured worker who has not previously entered into a Compromise & Release for the indemnity part of the claim stops all benefits. Per California Labor Code 4700, “Neither temporary nor permanent disability payments shall be made for any […]

Bulk Settlement Days

The Workers Compensation community is small. We see the same folks again and again. Applicant’s counsel commonly have an inventory of cases with one carrier or TPA, perhaps involving a single employer. Claims professionals and defense counsel often have multiple claims with one applicant’s attorney. These scenarios beg for an efficient resolution. A litigation management […]

Heartsink Patients

“Heartsink” is the term for how the treater feels when it is difficult if not impossible to help patients with chronic pain and disability. A 1989 Toronto Star editorial placed these patients into four categories: dependent clingers, entitled demanders, manipulative help-rejecters, and self-destructive deniers. You know these injured workers. They are the ones whose life […]

Reduce Industrial Accidents– Repeal Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (“DST”) is stupid There is no reason for all of us to make ourselves crazy changing the clocks twice a year. DST does not save fuel and does not help farmers. Instead, it causes industrial accidents and collisions. John Oliver focused on this problem in a comedic piece on his show. Please contact your state […]

How Minimum Wage Laws Affect Indemnity Payments

SAWW is going up. The California State Average Weekly Wage determines the annual adjustment of the minimum and maximum payments to persons receiving temporary disability benefits per Labor Code 4453(a)(10). The State Average Weekly Wage also determines the adjustment to payments to persons receiving a life pension or total permanent disability indemnity per Labor Code 4659(c). In […]

THE ONE THING TO DO TO MAXIMIZE WORKERS COMP MEDIATION SUCCESS

Preparing a mediation brief is the one thing you can do to maximize the likelihood of a successful mediation. The goal in mediation is to define issues and resolve them. You can get a head start by alerting your mediator to the issues and suggesting why those issues tilt in your favor. Lack of a […]

The Regulation (Almost) Nobody Follows

“If a party requests that a defendant provide a computer printout of benefits paid, within twenty (20) days the defendant shall provide the requesting party with a current computer printout of benefits paid. The printout shall include the date and amount of each payment of temporary disability indemnity, permanent disability indemnity, and vocational rehabilitation maintenance […]