The “Declaration of Readiness to Proceed” – What, Who, Where and When?
1) What is a D.O.R?
A Declaration of Readiness to Proceed, also know as a “D.O.R.”, is a document filed with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board ( WCAB ) that is pretty much what it sounds like – a party is ready to see a Judge.
The D.O.R. will prompt either informal resolution of issues, or trial could be set regarding disputes between the parties – usually, the injured worker and the employers claim administrator. The disputes could involve: The level of permanent disability, deductions from a permanent disability (apportionment), future medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, compensation rates, self-procured medical treatment, penalties, and many other issues.
The WCAB has very specific instructions on how to file a D.O.R., so if you are going to represent yourself, be sure you check in with the WCAB to make sure your D.O.R. is filed correctly, or it can be rejected.
2) Who can file a D.O.R.?
The injured worker, the employer/claims administrator, and others who have an interest in the outcome of the claim can file a D.O.R. In fact, the law provides a list of those who can legitimately participate in the case before the WCAB. For example, someone who claims you owe them milk money from 5th grade is not going to be recognized as legitimate, but child support liens are.
3) Where should a D.O.R be filed?
The WCAB has specific requirements on where a D.O.R. must be filed, also known as “venue” rules. If you are going to represent yourself, it is important that you check in with your local WCAB court to find out where to file you D.O.R.
4) When should a D.O.R. filed?
Deciding whether to file a D.O.R. requires thoughtful consideration of many factors. Because the filing of a D.O.R. (by anyone) could potentially freeze all investigation and documentation in a case, very careful consideration of whether you have all the evidence necessary to win is critical. If another party files a D.O.R. ( sometimes done to cut off your opportunity to gather evidence ) there are VERY STRICT timelines to object to their D.O.R., or your objections may be waived.
Also, you can request various types of meetings with the Judge ranging from a conference to requesting a trial be set on certain issues. What type of D.O.R. is right for your case at any given time ( or whether it’s wise to file one at all ) depends on the facts of each case.
We are here to help – and the consultation is free.
If you are considering filing a D.O.R, or you have received one from another party in your case, don’t wait to get the advice you need.
Call us a 714-547-5025 for a confidential appointment.