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How Long Does It Take To Get Workers' Compensation Settlement?

by Layla Bryant

You will probably want your workers' compensation settlement as fast as possible after suffering a workplace injury. However, different factors (some out of your control) determine how fast you get the settlement. Below are some factors that determine the process timeline.

How Fast You Act

All the relevant parties must play their part for you to get your settlement in time. The major parties include your employers, workers' compensation insurer, and the injury victim. You must act fast to:

  • Report your injury as soon as possible
  • Seek medical treatment
  • Provide all relevant documents and information to your employer or workers' compensation insurer

A delay on your part slows the process; for example, the insurance company will just sit on your file until you provide the documents they need.

How Fast Your Employer Acts

Your employer should forward the relevant documents, such as your injury report and claim form, to the insurance company. Your case might be delayed if your employer is forgetful, swamped with work, or just poor with information processing.

How Fast the Workers' Compensation Department Works

The speed with which the workers' compensation department handles your claim depends on:

  • Their staff
  • Their work culture
  • Their workload

Insurance companies typically handle cases on a first-come-first-serve basis. You may get a fast response if you and your employer do your part on time, and the insurance company has a light caseload.

Your Injury and Medical Treatment

Workers' compensation insurance can only settle your case once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The MMI is where your medical condition has improved as much as possible, and doctors don't expect much change. The insurance company cannot settle your case before MMI since they won't know your true case's value.

Case Complications

Your settlement might delay if not all the parties agree on the facts of the case. For example, your case might delay if:

  • Your employer alleges your injury is self-inflicted
  • You know your benefits are worth more than the insurance company's offer
  • Workers' compensation insurance does not believe some of your claims

In such a case, you must clear the doubts before your claim can proceed.

Type of Settlement

You will receive your settlement fast if you do not dispute the insurance company's offer. Negotiating for a better settlement might stretch the process a bit. Filing a lawsuit (if the negotiations fail) furthers the process. Thus, the type of settlement you get determines how fast you get the money.

For more information, contact a workers' comp lawyer near you.