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Settlements in the Time of COVID

Robert Gruber

You just got out of a claim review, and your supervisor has told you “again” that you have too many open workers’ compensation files, and your account representatives are screaming about their loss run reports. Dejected and deflated, you hang up the phone, and wonder what to do. It will take you forever to contact all of your unrepresented claimants; and even if you can, it will take the Commission weeks to schedule a settlement conference. But, as inconvenient as this “time of COVID” is to just about every aspect of your life, it also gives you a rare opportunity to settle your unrepresented claims!

The Commission is not holding any live hearings except under very specific circumstances, and lawyers are generally hesitant to take depositions in person. This rare confluence of factors means that the Commission can schedule settlement conferences via the telephone very, very quickly. An unrepresented clincher or Form 16A settlement, which may have taken a month or 6 weeks to get scheduled before this pandemic began, may only take a week or two to get scheduled now. Finally, it may cost you less to bring an unrepresented claim to settlement at this time because depositions and conferences are generally conducted remotely for social distance purposes.

The workers compensation lawyers at YCRLAW believe that every cloud has a silver lining, and we are available to help you settle some of those open files so you can focus on your more substantive cases and keep the supervisors happy!