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Settlements Ins and Outs

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Understanding the Ins and Outs of Settlements in Arizona Workers’ Compensation cases

You can bet that the insurance company is pushing you to settle your case because it is in its’ financial best interest. How do you protect yourself from signing onto a bad deal?

There are generally two types of settlements; “Compromise and Settlement” and “Full and Final Settlement.” The first step is to determine what exactly you and the insurance company intend to settle. Compromise and Settlement only settle a portion of the case, usually the future monetary benefits. Full and Final Settlement or “FAF” is a full release of the insurance company from allfuture monetary payments and medical benefits. Step one: determine what type of settlement the carrier seeks. It will almost always be Full and Final.

Keep in mind that the insurance company has teams of savvy financial professionals on whom they depend to eliminate and minimize claims losses. In other words, they will know a lot more than you about how much your claim is worth, and they will capitalize on that knowledge gap when they settle a case against an unknowing injured worker. Knowledge is power in any negotiation. How do you protect yourself from being ripped off?

First, you have to make sure that you have your own figures for both the future monetary and medical benefits numbers that form the basis of a full and final. The carrier will present you with very official-looking numbers regarding future medical expenses. The numbers are almost always woefully deficient and self serving. They are not “ official.” The carrier is hoping that Medicare ( in certain cases) and the injured worker will blindly accept their figures and agree to their hand chosen vendor’s future medical figures. The insurer knows that their future medical figures will be substantially lower than their current reserves, and they seek to make money on the transaction. If the injured worker settles for less than it is worth, then they are stuck with future medical expenses.

If the insurer offers the injured worker settlement of future medical only through a medicare set aside program (MSA), beware. The medical settlement, essentially, becomes a deductible against future injury related medical care, so there is little or no benefit. The carrier should pay an incentive if the injured worker is giving up the rights to his case for the rest of his life.

Also, if the injured worker is receiving a “ loss of earning capacity” award, this should be valued and settled at a good number. Valuation is best done by an expert familiar with the essential math. Again, the insurance company should pay very good value, because they are escaping liability for the injured workers’ claim, permanently.

Annuities are a confusing topic, but understanding them is essential to any Full and Final Settlement in Arizona. Annuities are purchased by the insurer with settlement funds to create an annual stream of income to fund the future medical expense account and, sometimes, monetary payments.

The issues of settlement, valuations, offset numbers and annuities are complicated and deserve the attention of a professional. Take care and be careful when entering this minefield.

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This Firm Stands Up for Working Families

"This law firm really stands up for working families; stands up for workers and will take your case and fight for your case. And get you the best possible settlement that you can have. You should trust in this law firm. This is the law firm that stood when the state was being challenged under SB1070 the anti-immigrant law."

- Randy Parraz

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"Hi, my name is Ron Selma and I’ve been a client for a year and a half. Snow, Carpio & Weekely, have been very professional for me and I would recommend this firm to anyone. They all are very professional."

- Ron Selma

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Injured On
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"My name is Jennifer Logan & I was injured on the job in January of 2013. Chad Snow came highly recommended from an attorney that I work for. I’ve been coming here ever since I consulted with him. He helped me out."

- Jennifer Logan

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In An Accident At Work

" Alex Carpio has been my attorney since the beginning in August of 2012. I was in an accident at work and I explained everything. At that point he said: “We’re going to continue & we’re going to go on with this because you do have a case.” I would recommend Alex Carpio very highly. He’s a great gentlemen and he listens."

- Albert Gardea

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Arizona Workers Compensation Results

"I was injured on 10-1-2010. During that time I was in so much pain. I was really happy that I was able to find Snow, Carpio & Weekely. If you look at my file I've over 3.5 years of paperwork. There’s no way that I would have been able to handle it on my own. They reminded me when I was supposed to go to court and took care of all the legal proceedings."

- Thomas Demott

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We Recommend This Firm To You

"Hello, my name is Jorge Ramirez and my lawyer was Alex Carpio. He is a really good lawyer and I would recommend him to a lot of people. Snow, Carpio & Weekely, have been very professional for me and my wife. Thank you Alex Carpio."

- Jorge Ramirez

At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, we don’t identify you by your injury or your claim. We recognize you by name and by face. You have an important life with people who look up to you and depend on you. We treat you with that same respect. We will work with you on your Workers’ Compensation or Social Security Disability claims, helping you secure the benefits you deserve; affording you dignity today and hope for the future.

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