Workers Compensation Commission Requires Settlement cover letters

Many lawyers who do not regularly practice before the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission (“VWC”) do not realize that there are several specific requirements for the approval of a compromise settlement.  In addition to the Petition and Order, a notarized Affidavit is required.  Furthermore, a Deputy Commissioner from the Northern Virginia Regional Office sent out a Memorandum indicating that “Any settlement submitted for approval must contain a cover letter from claimant’s attorney stating

  • • a description for the procedural history of the case,
  • • the current posture (including issues in dispute and the strengths and weaknesses of the claim and anticipated defenses),
  • • personal information about the claimant (age, family, status, number of dependents, current working situation, income),
  • • the attorney’s belief whether the claimant is competent to enter into the settlement and understands the terms,
  • • current medical condition and treatment of the claimant,
  • • anticipated future medical expenses including whether the claimant has other medical insurance, and a statement of claimant’s intended use of the settlement (amount of debt payment, investment).

In addition, every settlement must contain a separate statement from the attorney identifying the fee requested and the basis for the fee signed by the claimant reflecting agreement or disagreement, along with a notarized affidavit by the claimant.”  The settlement of a permanent injury or disability case should not be done without experienced legal counsel.  Consultation with a Virginia Trial Lawyer who regularly practices before the VWC and who also helps families with their Social Security Disability and other accidental injury cases wold be in a good position to help before papers are signed and it’s too late.  If you or someone you know has been in an on the job accident and sustained permanent injury or long term disability, please e-mail or call us (703-796-9555) at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., before signing any settlement papers.  We may be able to help you to understand the terms and keep you from losing other benefits to which you might otherwise be entitled.

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