When an employee makes a work injury claim, a dispute can arise over whether the employee’s injuries or illness should be covered by workers’ compensation. Disputes can also arise about the kinds of benefits an injured employee should receive; about the legitimacy of medical treatment; about how impaired a worker is by an injury; and about a host of other issues.
When a work injury claim is denied or there is a disagreement over benefits, there is a dispute resolution process. The dispute resolution process can include arbitration or a benefits hearing. If the parties agree on some of the issues that are relevant to the arbitration or hearing, this can lead to stipulation in a Texas work injury claim. An experienced Houston, TX work injury lawyer can assist you in understanding what stipulation means and how it can benefit you. Call Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. today to learn more.
What is a Stipulation in a Texas Work Injury Claim?
There are multiple steps in the dispute resolution process when there is a disagreement over benefits or coverage in a Texas work injury claim. These steps include a benefit review conference, where the injured employee and an insurance representative try to come to an agreement. If this fails, the next step is either arbitration or a contested case hearing.
There may be many different issues relevant to whether an employee is entitled to receive benefits that he is claiming to deserve. All of the relevant legal and factual questions could be raised in arbitration or in a contested case hearing. However, it could take a very long time for an insurer and injured worker to argue on every issue. Stipulation in a Texas work injury claim makes it possible to avoid some of these arguments.
Section 144.10 addresses Stipulations, Agreements and Settlements. Under this code section, parties can enter into stipulations before arbitration. Stipulations are defined as “a voluntary accord between parties to an arbitration regarding any matter relating to the arbitration that does not constitute an agreement or a settlement.” Section 142.9 also makes clear that the parties to a dispute can enter into stipulations before a benefits hearing.
In both cases, stipulations must be in writing and must be signed by all of the parties to the stipulation or by their representatives.
The purpose of stipulations is, essentially, to allow the parties to indicate that they are in agreement about a particular fact or circumstance that is relevant to the benefits dispute. They don’t agree on everything, and they aren’t ready to enter into a written agreement deciding on the key issues of the benefits dispute. However, they are willing to stipulate or state that certain facts or circumstances are not in dispute.
Stipulations can save time and simplify the process of arbitration or presenting evidence in a hearing over disputed benefits. An experienced Houston, TX work injury lawyer at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. can help you to explore the possibility of stipulation in a Texas work injury claim. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.