How Long Do Workers Comp Settlements Take?
One of the common concerns injured employees bring up when talking to a St. Louis work injury lawyer is how long their case might take.
Unfortunately, attorneys cannot answer this question with certainty, as every situation is unique. Still, we can provide some data on average case lengths and tell you the most important factors that go into duration.
Average Length of Workers Compensation Claim
On average, it takes workers just under sixteen months to start obtaining compensation. What this data tells us is that the idea of workers’ compensation being a streamlined, worker-friendly system is not entirely accurate. One thing to note is that your case could be as short as a few months and as long as two years. We detail the factors that dictate where you’ll end up on that spectrum in the following sections.
When you file a claim, your company’s insurance provider will decide if it is legitimate or not. An acceptance will speed up the process, while a denial will slow it substantially.
Hiring a Work Injury Lawyer
On average, workers that hire lawyers spend longer on their cases. This trend should not scare you from hiring an attorney, though. The reason for this extended duration is the fact that employees with representation negotiate for better deals. Waiting a few extra months is worth it when you stand to collect significantly more benefits.
Hiring the Wrong Work Comp Attorney
One danger of hiring the wrong legal provider is them being unresponsive. What this behavior leads to is significant delays in the process, as you cannot get ahold of your representation. The best way to avoid this trap is to carefully assess your potential attorneys before hiring one.
You and your lawyer will decide on a negotiation strategy before going into meetings with your employer. What you’ll have to decide on is whether you want to aggressively pursue as much compensation as possible, or settle for a bit less in exchange for a quick settlement. The former will extend your case, while the latter will shorten it.
Insurance Company Delays
Just like a bad lawyer, the opposing insurance company can be unresponsive too. They might take multiple days to get back to your requests, be unavailable for meetings, and act in a variety of other ways that delay your case. Whether they are doing it on purpose or not, this behavior will increase the length of your claim.
Ongoing Medical Treatment
In general, workers’ compensation cases do not take place until the employee has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that person’s health is as good it can be. The reason is that both sides want to have as much information as possible before starting a negotiation. Unfortunately, reaching this point can take a long time.
Ultimately, each case is different, so its difficult to know precisely how long your case will take. That being said, the very experienced St. Louis Work Injury Lawyers with The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann are available for a free consultation to discuss your unique situation.
Call (314) 361-4300 Today!