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California Workers Comp Status Conferences – Adjuster Guest Author

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Setting California Workers Comp Status Conferences

This article on setting California Workers Comp Status conferences definitely applies to Workers’ Compensation claims at the WCAB level.   However, I think that the technique could be useful in other jurisdictions so use your own judgment and apply the techniques as they apply to your business. 

Graphic of California Workers Comp Status Conferences Techniques
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Have you ever been frustrated with a case that just seems to be going nowhere? Do you have a case that is ready to settle, but can’t get a hold of opposing counsel? Do you work in a busy California WCAB venue, or another venue that allows the setting of
status conferences?

If the answers to any of these questions are “yes”, then I think this tidbit of information would be helpful to you.    Having worked in our industry for 16 years now, with 15 years of that being adjusting claims,  I know that in our industry, everyone is busy on a daily basis. 

From phone calls to emails to faxes, the days just go by so fast.  Many times, co-defense or counsel for the opposing side are just simply busy at hearings.

Pen And Paper California Workers Comp Status Conferences Vector
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So my tip to get the communication going again, and to move the case along when you are trying to settle is to set a “Status Conference”.

This type of conference does not trigger closure of discovery, but it does basically “force” the parties to appear at the WCAB and discuss the case.  Make sure your counsel is prepared for the hearing, and that you have given them benefit printouts, current medical reports and proper settlement authority.

Be sure to make an offer at the hearing for settlement based on the evidence at hand in the case.  Make the offer in writing, thus “requiring” that counsel shows it to their client.

Please consider any unresolved factors like EDD liens, Retro Temporary Disability or additional body parts in your valuation of the settlement.

More often than not, when I use this approach, we settle the case faster.  If not, then at least we have a solid plan and usually a counter demand (to get authority for if needed to get closer to settlement).

Now move forth and use this technique.  But of course listen to the advice of your counsel as they usually know the venues and judges pretty well! 

An excerpt from  “Setting Status Conferences”  (The Work Comp Diaries  by Dean Sultani).   

 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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