In workers’ compensation cases, there are two kinds of admissions of liability which the insurance company sends out that you need to be aware of.
General Admission of Liability
When the insurance company files a General Admission of Liability (GAL), this is a good thing for the injured worker. It means that your insurance company is admitting and accepting liability for your injury, and is not contesting your case. The General Admission of Liability may not be accurate or correct, but that is not a problem. If the General Admission of Liability is in error, for example, if it pays you too little, or does not pay you for a long enough period of time, then it can be challenged. The General Admission of Liability can be challenged by negotiating with the insurance adjuster until an agreement is reached and the General Admission is corrected. If an agreement with the adjuster cannot be reached, then the matter can be taken to hearing before a workers’ compensation judge.
Final Admission of Liability
The Final Admission of Liability (FAL) is a very dangerous document, because it is the insurance company’s attempt to close out your workers’ compensation case. You have thirty days to object to a Final Admission of Liability. You must file the necessary paperwork within these thirty days, or your case will automatically be closed. Many injured workers say that their case is not closed because they did not sign anything or agree to anything, but it is not necessary for you to sign anything or to agree to anything. Once the Final Admission of Liability is mailed out to you, you must act within 30 days. If you do not act and file all of the correct papers, your case will automatically be closed on day 31.
If you do not properly object to the Final Admission of Liability within 30 days, then you will generally not be entitled to receive any additional medical treatment or benefits, even if you would otherwise have been entitled to those benefits. In other words, even if you are entitled to more money, or more medical care, it does not matter. Once the deadline for objecting to the Final Admission of Liability has passed with no proper objection from you, then the case is closed, and you are usually entitled to no additional benefits, other than those benefits which may be listed in the Final Admission of Liability itself.
As stated previously, the Final Admission of Liability is a very dangerous document for the injured worker. As your attorney, Steve Gurwin will make sure the Final Admission of Liability in your case is properly objected to in a timely manner, so that your important rights are not lost forever. Once your case is closed, it is possible under certain circumstances to reopen the case, but that is extremely difficult to do. Steve Gurwin will fight hard to prevent your case from closing, since he knows how difficult it will be to reopen your case once it is closed.
- Notice of Contest – Gurwin Law Office