Although her workers compensation claim had been settled years ago, a viewer still has problems. Is it possible to reopen her case? Workers compensation attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli explain.
Dave Kuharchik: We’re going to address a workers comp issue in this edition of “The Law & You.” The guys are dressed up in their best sports jackets. They are attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. Here in the virtual law center. Welcome, tonight.
Ed Ciarimboli: Dave, we need a bucket of ice. It’s hot. It’s hot and sticky out.
Dave: We’ll get you guys some cold water. We’ll fill the mug’s here or something. All right, here’s the question tonight and this involves Mary in Bloomsburg. She says, “I settled my workers compensation case by way of a compromise and release a few years ago and I am still having problems.” So can Mary reopen her case?
Ed: Nope. That’s it.
Dave: That simple? She signed off.
Ed: Well, she signed off. There’s a compromise of release, the operative terminology that is a release. And what happens is there’s a whole hearing. The judge goes through a whole question-and-answer session with you and they had to do that with you in settling your case so you understood that once you close it, that’s it. You can’t reopen it. So, the release is pretty comprehensive. I mean, the short answer, very simple answer is no, in the absence of some type of fraud.
Greg Fellerman: We’ve never seen that in all the years that we’ve been practicing. The workers compensation system is very good. The judges do a really, really good job on making sure you understand what you’re getting into. They go through the document, there’s a hearing, you read, you sign, you initial.
Ed: There’s a transcript of it.
Greg: The judges, they really do an excellent job, I have to be honest. We’ve done a zillion of them. And they make sure that you understand. And if you don’t understand, you haven’t read it, the judge will stop the whole hearing, tell them to go outside and read it, go over it with them again. Excellent job. And again, when you enter into these legal situations, and some people do it without lawyers, it’s good to get that legal advice. The judge does a great job. But these are very serious matters you’re resolving by the way of a compromise of release. Very serious.
Ed: Yeah, you’re giving up your rights. When you settle a case, you’re essentially saying, “I am settling it. I got my money. And, as a result, I’m giving up any further right to receive any additional compensation or medical treatment.” And that’s why it’s really so important to make sure from day one, as we always say, call a lawyer. And make sure that they’re walking through this process with you in order to understand it fully.
Dave: All right, results matter. Attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli, guys thanks so much.
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