While Herndon job injury lawyer Doug Landau advises clients that settling comp claims take time and effort, there are still many questions about the settlements of workers compensation cases. Workers Comp claims seem to take a lot more time from acceptance of the settlement offer to the ultimate approval of the paperwork. This is especially true according to Herndon injured workers lawyer Landau, when compared to the settlement of a car crash or slip and fall case. In those "liability’ or "negligence" cases, the check and release comes withnin days or weeks from the insurance company or defense lawyer. In Virginia comp claims, the ultimate approval takes months after the parties submit the signed (and notarized) paperwork to the Workers Compensation Commission ("VWCC") in Richmond. The Virginia Code provides (65.2-701) that compromise settlements of workplace accident, occupational disease or job fatality cases, "may be approved only when the Commission…is clearly of the opinion that the best interests of the employee or his dependents will be served thereby." Rule 1.7 sets forth the requirements for a compromise settlement package. Unlike the resolution of a car crash or dog attack case, a workers comp case requires a number of documents (and signatures !).
The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission does not approve every single settlement that is submitted to it. The VWCC is not a "rubber stamp" and settlement documents are carefully reviewed. Deputy Commissioner Courtney Mercer manages the Compromise Settlement Department, with a claims examiner who supervises the department and who is assisted by a claims technician and two senior judicial secretaries. Deputy Commissioner Mercer shared his thoughts with Doug Landau recently in Richmond. Workplace accident and fatality lawyer Doug Landau was invited to a special "Retreat" for lawyers who only represent injured workers and not insurance companies. If you or someone you know, has questions about their workers compensation case or settlement, please contact ABRAMS LANDAU or call us today.