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California Claims Highest Settlement, Again

If you want results, call us. If you want peace of mind, call us. If you want representation who understands the hardship that has been thrust upon you, call us.

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To date, California holds the record for the highest workers’ compensation settlement values in the country. In March 2017, a workers’ compensation attorney beat his own nationwide record of an $8.9 million settlement with a $10 million settlement. While not every settlement can reach such high thresholds, a lawyer who understands all possible sources of compensation can successfully negotiate for full and fair compensation.

The Record

Currently, Christopher Asvar of Asvar Law holds the record for the highest settlement values. In the recent record-breaking case, the attorney partnered with another law firm to maximize compensation for his client’s current and future care. The case involved an employee who was driving home from work on I-10 in the early hours of the morning when her vehicle left the road and collided with a tree. She suffered severe trauma, including a life-changing brain injury in the accident.

The incident happened in 2013, and the case finally settled in March 2017. The $10 million settlement for the workers’ compensation claim represents the highest recorded settlement for a workers’ compensation claim in the country’s history.

High-Value Case Highlights Exception to Workers’ Compensation Rules

This case highlights a uniqueness in California workers’ compensation laws. Under normal circumstances, the state workers’ compensation program will not cover injuries sustained during a commute.

In California, the so-called “going and coming” rule governs when work-related travel falls under the scope of workers’ compensation coverage. In our state, an injured employee must prove the injury arose from employment and that it occurred during the course of employment to receive benefits.

In the case of the $10 million settlement, the Northern California Record reports the injured worker was driving home after working on a special audit project. Since she was on the road under particular circumstances and not during traditional commute times, the state recognized the incident as a valid workers’ compensation case.

Lessons from Record-Breaking Settlements

Most states do not track settlements by size. Regardless, these sums do represent the far end of the settlement spectrum. Most injured employees cannot expect to file a claim and receive such a large settlement without justifiable reason.

After a work-related injury, the attorney who represents you can help you fight for complete and fair compensation for your losses. The final award will come down to several factors, including:

  • The nature and scope of injury. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord/nervous system injuries, and certain illnesses tend to cause more losses and create longer recovery times than injuries such as repetitive motion strains and minor fractures. Injuries that significantly and permanently impact an employee’s ability to work and his or her quality of life will garner higher compensation awards.
  • Your attorney’s skills. An attorney who understands injuries, predictive analytics, workers’ compensation laws, and related fields of law can help you maximize your compensation. In the record-breaking example, the attorney allocated the third-party settlement of $3.2 million as compensation for pain and suffering alone (something that a workers’ compensation claim cannot compensate). As a result, he or she could negotiate workers’ compensation benefits from zero instead of subtracting the third-party settlement from a reasonable payment.
  • Your willingness to fight. Any type of major injury claim can take years to work out. Some clients are not willing to keep pushing for a fair settlement year after year. To investigate and negotiate high-dollar claims, attorneys need their clients’ trust and cooperation.

If the California Workers’ Compensation system covers you at work, keep this settlement in mind. You live in a state with a legal system that can protect employee rights after serious and catastrophic injuries, so be sure to utilize it to be properly compensated for your losses.