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