Q: When preparing to sign a compromise and release agreement for work comp case what exactly am I giving up besides future
A: I'd be committing malpractice if I answered this question because I would need to see the compromise & release first before I could tell you exactly what you are giving up. Generally speaking you would not be able to reopen your case like you could within 5 years of your last date of injury if settled by stipulation but again, I really cannot tell you for sure until I have had a chance to review the document. I'm sorry. I wish I could be of more help, but I really do not want to give you with the wrong information by guessing what the terms are in your settlement document.
A: It completely depends on what the writers put in the agreement! Most of the time, you agree to release all possible claims against the employer, a 'general release'. The WCAB Judges are NOT supposed to approve that language but many do. So if later you find out you got cancer from exposure on that job you can't do anything because you released that right. Most say you are surrendering your right to reopen for any New &Further Disability, so if you can't walk in 2 years you cannot return to the insurer to say the injury made you much, much worse than when you took the lump-sum offer. Some include a release of getting penalties if the payment ordered by the judge is within 35 days (the labor code only gives them 25 days). I had a teacher who was fired because she couldn't run across the entire campus in the even of an active shooter...she pursued a wrongful termination action and won nearly $1,000,000 because I wouldn't let her sign a Compromise & RElease surrendering all of her claims against the employer. So it releases whatever it says it releases, and if you get fired, you could be losing $1,000,000.
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