What to Look For in a Structured Settlement Company

 

The use of structured settlements in large and catastrophic workers’ compensation claims is well recognized as a way to reduce the overall settlement cost while at the same time providing the injured employee with a fair claim settlement.  However, a factor often overlooked in structured settlements is the identification and selection of the best structured settlement company.

 

There are several characteristics and qualities that should be considered in the selection of the structured settlement company.  They are:

 

  1. Experience.

You want a structured settlement company that has a track record.  A structured settlement company that has been around for decades has more resources to draw from then a structured settlement company that has been in business for a few months.  The more structured settlements the company has completed in the past, the greater likelihood that they know how to deal with every possible scenario that could interrupt or prevent a structured settlement from occurring.

 

 

  1. Ability to Design Settlements.

The structured settlement company must have the ability to taken into consideration the needs of everyone including the injured employee and employee’s family, the attorney for the employee, the employer and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.  The structured settlement has to be designed to be flexible to address the needs of the employee while maintaining control of the settlement cost for the insurer.

 

The structured settlement company consultant must have an in-depth knowledge of sophisticated damage analysis and life care plans, along with the different types of trusts that can be included in a structured settlement.  By understanding the injured employee’s future financial needs and future medical care, the structured settlement consultant can design a creative solution that benefits all parties involved in the workers’ compensation claim.

 

 

  1. Resources.

A structured settlement is basically an annuity (or annuities) purchased from a life insurance company.  It is therefore essential for the structured settlement company to have several top rated life insurance companies available to provide the annuity/annuities.  By having several highly rated insurance companies available, the consultant can shop the settlement package with the different insurers to obtain the lowest overall cost for the structured settlement.

 

 

  1. Reputation.

There are structured settlement companies that work only with the plaintiff attorneys and there are structured settlement companies that specialize in working only with the defense attorneys.  These companies are well known to both the sides of the legal aisle, and are often mistrusted by the other side.  A structured settlement company that works with both plaintiff attorneys and defense attorneys must maintain a reputation of being unbiased and fair in all their dealings.  By selecting a structured settlement company that has the trust and extensive experience working with both sides of the legal aisle, the mistrust that hampers and prevents some structured settlements from occurring is removed.

 

 

  1. Geographical spread.

The structured settlement company should be somewhat local.  If the structured settlement company has only one office or even several offices in another part of the country, it is difficult for the structured settlement consultant to meet with the various parties involved in the injury claim. An example – if the structured settlement company is located in Florida and the injured party is in California, the structured settlement company will be less effective.  The structured settlement company that has a complete geographical spread and can provide a local consultant whether the injured employee is in Maine, Hawaii or somewhere in between will be able to provide the best service.

 

The proper selection of the structured settlement company can have a significant impact on the cost of the structured settlement.  For assistance in identifying and locating the best possible structured settlement company, please contact us.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Labor Department Marks 10th Anniversary of Act to Help Workers

 
The U.S. Department of Labor recently marked the 10th anniversary of administering the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
 
 
As the DOL points out, the EEOICPA provides compensation and medical benefits to eligible workers and their survivors who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. The department has administered Part B of the EEOICPA since the program's inception in 2001, and was charged with the implementation of Part E, created by an amendment to the EEOICPA, Oct. 28, 2004. To date, the department has paid more than $7.2 billion in compensation and medical benefits to over 71,400 eligible individuals.(WCxKit)
 
 
"Since the EEOICPA's inception, the Labor Department has been committed to fulfilling the promises made to Cold War veterans," said Rachel Leiton, director of the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation, which administers the EEOICPA. "I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees. The benefits paid to eligible workers and their families have far exceeded the original expectations from the time the program began. I encourage all individuals who may be entitled to benefits to contact us toll-free at (866) 888-3322 and file a claim."
 
 
Part B of the EEOICPA covers current or former workers who have been diagnosed with cancers, beryllium disease or silicosis, and whose illness was caused by exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica while working directly for the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE contractors or subcontractors, designated Atomic Weapons Employers or beryllium vendors.
 
 
The Labor Department has approved 51,576 claims under Part B of the EEOICPA. Part E of the EEOICPA provides federal compensation and medical benefits to DOE contractors and subcontractors who worked at covered DOE facilities and sustained an illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances. The Part E benefit payout has exceeded $2.3 billion.(WCxKit)
 
 
The EEOICPA also provides additional compensation for uranium workers who worked at facilities covered by the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. Additionally, certain survivors of nuclear weapons industry workers are eligible for benefits under Parts B and E. To assist individuals regardless of where they live, the department has 11 stationary resource centers located throughout the country. These resource centers provide an initial point-of-contact for individuals interested in filing a claim under the EEOICPA, and staff provide both in-person and telephone-based assistance.

 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Misssissippi Worker Wins 322 Million Asbestos Suit

In what attorneys report was the largest ever single-plaintiff asbestos verdict in U.S. history, a Mississippi jury has awarded $322 million to a former oil field employee who reportedly inhaled asbestos dust while mixing drilling mud.
 
 
According to fairwarning.org, Thomas “Tony” Brown Jr., 48, worked in the oil fields from 1979 to the mid 80s as a roughneck on rigs in Mississippi and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. He sued Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., which sold the drilling mud, and Union Carbide Corp., the manufacturer, for causing him to develop asbestosis, a lung disease caused by asbestos exposure. He is now on oxygen daily. (WCxKit)
 
 
The jury award was for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages down the road.
 
 
“Although the asbestos was known to cause cancer and lung disease, Chevron Phillips and Union Carbide continued to market these almost 100 percent pure asbestos products long after they knew the dangers,” Allen Hossley, a lawyer for Brown, told The Wall Street Journal.
 
 
Both Chevron Phillips and Union Carbide said they would appeal the verdict. “The credible medical evidence introduced at trial clearly demonstrates that while Mr. Brown suffers from shortness of breath, such [a] condition is not attributable to asbestos exposure,” a Union Carbide spokesman informed the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The companies also contended that because Brown was illiterate and could not read the hazard statement on the drilling mud additives, he was not entitled to argue that they had provided inadequate warnings.
 
 
If the verdict is upheld, Brown will be entitled to an amount close to equal to Union Carbide’s yearly net income, which was $459 million in 2010. Union Carbide is a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co. (WCxKit)
 
 
Asbestos products were used in drilling mud due to the fact asbestos is fire-resistant and a strong bonding agent.
 

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

CEO Gets $12 Million Retirement Package: Offers Miners Families $3 Million Settlement

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows Massey Energy Co. has offered families of the 29 miners killed in a 2010 coal mine explosion $3 million apiece to settle their claims.
 
 
According to The Associated Press, the Virginia-based company publicly revealed the offers for the first time in a proxy statement filed in conjunction with rival coal producer Alpha Natural Resources' proposed $7.1 billion takeover. The deal is set to culminate after shareholders of both companies vote June 1. (WCxKit)
 
 
One family member of a deceased coal miner, Michelle McKinney, daughter of Benny Willingham, indicated she has no interest in settling. "My dad didn't have a price tag on him," she remarked. Massey presented a financial package that it claims would free the families from ever worrying about money.
 
 
The offer included life insurance (five times the miner's annual salary), health insurance, and additional payments to surviving spouses and scholarships to children. Massey board director Robert Foglesong said accepting those benefits would not halt a family from suing.
 
 
The April 5, 2010 Upper Big Branch explosion was the deadliest in the U.S. coalfields dating back to 1970, remaining the target of civil and criminal investigations. (WCxKit)
 
 
The filing cites the retirement last year of Massey Chief Executive Don Blankenship, who agreed to a $12 million retirement package.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Jury Awards $212 Million for Botox Brain Injury

A Virginia jury has awarded $212 million to a man who alleged that side effects of Botox led to him to suffering brain damage. 
 
 
According to Bloomberg News, the lawsuit was filed by 67 year-old Douglas Ray, who alleged that he was disabled by permanent brain damage after receiving Botox injections to treat writer’s cramp in his right hand. The complaint accused Allergan Inc., the manufacturer, of failing to warn about the risk of brain damage from Botox triggering an autoimmune reaction. (WCxKit)
 
 
In late April, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond awarded Ray $12 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. However, Virginia tort reform laws will reportedly cap the punitive damages award at $350,000.
 
 
Botox, which includes limited quantities of the bacteria associated with the development of botulism poisoning, is approved for both cosmetic use to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in the skin and to treat medical conditions such as strabismus (crossed eyes), hyperhidrosis (excess sweating), cervical dystonia (involuntary contractions of the neck muscles) and blepharospasms (involuntary blinking of the eye). However, it also commonly used off-label at high doses to treat stiff and jerky movements associated with cerebral palsy in children.
 
 
A number of Botox problems have been reported among users, where the medication can spread from the area of the injection to other parts of the body. This can result in symptoms of botulism poisoning, such as paralysis, difficulty swallowing, respiratory distress and other issues. These Botox side effects have most commonly been seen among children with cerebral palsy, where the typical Botox dose is substantially larger.
 
 
In October 2010, Allergan pled guilty to charges of illegally marketing Botox and agreed to pay $600 million to settle the charges. (open-ended)
 
 
According to allegations raised in the lawsuit over Botox marketing, the company went as far as training doctors how to bill for unapproved uses and created a Botox Reimbursement Hotline to help doctors get reimbursed for using Botox in ways that have not been sanctioned by the FDA.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Iowa Woman Wins 2.3 Million Lawsuit against Employer

A 55-year-old Iowa woman will receive more than $2.3 million from her lawsuit against her employer.
 
 
According to the Associated Press, the Monroe County jury verdict came in the case filed by Debbie Erwine, of Batavia, against UGL Services Unicco Operations Co. and a past supervisor. WCxKit
 
 
Erwines lawsuit alleged she was subjected to sex discrimination while overseeing maintenance and cleaning crews at the Cargill plant in Eddyville.
 
 
According to one of the documents, Erwines supervisor demoted her in the summer of 2008 due to the fact he "needed a man in that position so that he would be able to understand the mechanical aspects."
 
 
Erwine was terminated in December 2008. She sued a little less than one year later.
 
 
According to a UGL spokeswoman, Erwine was let go for violating company policy. (WCxKit)
 
 
The verdict includes $400,000 for emotional distress and $100,000 toward physical pain.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Four Possible Ways to Reduce the Potential Large Dollar Injury Claim

When the workers compensation adjusters receive certain types of indemnity claims, they know immediately to set a very large indemnity reserve on the claim. With a death claim, brain damage, second or third degree burns to most of the body, paralysis, and double amputations, reserving is basically adding up how much you will probably pay on the claim.

 

 

Where work comp adjusters often have a difficult time getting the reserves correct is on the potential problems claims that are handled at the on-set of the claim as just another routine claim. Some of the types of work comp claims that have the potential to become much larger than originally anticipated include: (WCxKit)

 

 

  1. Employees with a previous history of neck or back injuries.

 

  1. Claims involving back surgery (fusion, laminectomy, etc.) on a person who does manual labor.

 

  1. Employees who start out with a hostile attitude toward the employer or the insurance company.

 

  1. Any claim with a long lag time between the date of the injury and the date the claim is reported to the employer.

 

  1. Employee who are not happy with the medical treatment being received and switch doctors more than once (in claims lingo known as “doctor shopping” as the employee looks for a doctor who will not question the employee’s subjective complaints).

 

  1. Switching doctors, after obtaining an attorney, to a doctor known in the local insurance industry and medical community to be “pro-surgery” or “pro-claimant.”

 

  1. Any claim where the employee gets hooked on narcotics.

 

  1. The employee is near retirement age.

 

  1. The employer has announced an impending work-force reduction, or the employee has just been laid-off from work (work comp indemnity checks are usually much higher than unemployment checks).

 

10.The employee applies for social security disability (sometimes even before the adjuster has received the medical reports from the treating physician).

 

11.The workers compensation check is greater per week than the employee’s prior take home pay (when take home pay is reduced by union dues, 401K contributions, state income taxes, etc).

 

 

It is the adjuster’s responsibility to recognize and deal with these issues when they become known to the adjuster. If the adjuster does not respond to these type of issues when they arise, the claims will deteriorate {cost a whole lot more than they should}. The risk manager for the employer should act when the inexperienced adjuster does not recognize the impending problem or the lazy adjuster does not act on the impending problem. Any time either the adjuster, the adjuster’s supervisor or the risk manager see a potential problem developing they should take action immediately. It is a whole lot easier to stop a new problem claim from developing into a bad claim than it is stop a bad claim that is well established.

 

 

Many of these issues can be prevented, or stopped when they start, by taking strong action as soon as they are recognized. An in-depth initial investigation will stop most employees from building an otherwise legitimate injury claim into a monster claim, or a fraudulent attempt into a successful fraud. With claims that are reported late, or the employee has a hostile attitude, or the employee’s job is ending either due to retirement or a reduction in workforce, the appropriate investigation will stop these types of claims from mushrooming into major claims. If the employee sees a detailed investigation going on, they are much less likely to pursue building their claim up when they know they are being watched. On the other hand, if the employee never hears from the adjuster, or the adjuster only makes a perfunctory initial contact with the employee, the employee is emboldened by the lack of investigation.

 

 

After a strong initial investigation by the adjuster, the next best thing to stop many of these claims is a well-established, enforced early return to work program with modified duty available and provided to the employee. If the employee is back to work, it is difficult for them to convince even a “pro-claimant” doctor that they should be on social security disability. It is also difficult for the employee to go “doctor shopping” when they are working and being back at work does not give the employee the opportunity to net more pay out of work comp than they do on the job.

 

 

If the in-depth investigation and the early return to work program have not obtained control of the claim, in depth medical case management can prevent some claims from getting out of control. When a nurse case manager is working with the employee who has had previous back or neck problems, often they can work with the medical provider to obtain conservative treatment that returns the employee to their pre-injury physical status without surgery. Also, it is easier to keep employee from becoming narcotic addicted if they have not had surgery, or if they had surgery, their narcotic usage is monitored. (WCxKit)

 

 

If the employer, adjuster and nurse case manager work together as a team, most of the routine work comp claims that become large dollar claims can be prevented. Strong claim handling by the adjuster, an involved employer, and a dedicated nurse case manager can exercise the claim guidance needed to keep the routine claims with potential problems from becoming the large dollar claims.

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.  See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.


WC IQ TEST:  
http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.


©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact 
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
Lower your workers compensation expense by using the
guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.
Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!
Learn More

Please don't print this Website

Unnecessary printing not only means unnecessary cost of paper and inks, but also avoidable environmental impact on producing and shipping these supplies. Reducing printing can make a small but a significant impact.

Instead use the PDF download option, provided on the page you tried to print.

Powered by "Unprintable Blog" for Wordpress - www.greencp.de