3 Reasons Why I Talk to the Injured Worker

TRUST, CATHARSIS, COMPREHENSIVE RESOLUTION   Near the start of every mediation, once each side is in their own caucus room, I spend time talking directly with the injured worker. There are at least three reasons to do so. 1. I want to build trust in the mediation process. The injured worker needs to feel part of […]

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 […]

How to Win With Throwaway Issues

Some issues aren’t worth fighting over. Yet, parties and counsel frequently do take a stand when they might do better by taking a step back and just throwing that issue away. It’s the Principle of the Thing OK, you’re completely right on this issue—but what is the big picture? A fight over a $300 interpreter […]

Don’t Miss the Crossover Issues

Crossover issues are not strictly workers compensation issues– which is why they are sometimes overlooked. That omission can cost a party money or even lead to a professional malpractice suit. Third Party Claims Product liability, medical malpractice, and negligent roadway design are examples of third party claims usually unaffected by the exclusive remedy rule. Collisions may […]

You Have To Play To Win

–How Mediation Is (Not) Like the Lottery– No, I’m not advocating you play the lottery, but the slogan does apply: you have to play to win. The odds of winning the California Super Lotto Jackpot are 18 million to 1 against you. The likelihood you will be able to resolve your workers compensation issue in mediation […]

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 […]