Workers’ compensation cases are complicated to resolve and are based on the specific circumstances of your injury. Some injuries are easy to settle, but others can be complicated.
The average settlement time for workers’ compensation cases is six and a half months from when the claim is opened and filed with the insurance company.
This article will discuss how long workers’ compensation cases take and factors into the settlement process.
Workers' Comp vs. Personal Injury Settlements
Workers’ compensation settlements are different from traditional personal injury settlements, in that they are based in part on the total time off work due to the injury.
In a traditional personal injury case, the payout is based on medical bills and property damage. On the other hand, in a workers’ compensation case, the payout also includes money for the time missed because of the injury.
However, a workers’ compensation case is shorter than a typical personal injury case, allowing for a faster settlement. That’s because, in a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company is looking at the medical records in determining what percentage of the disability is due to the accident. The court process is not involved in a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers' Compensation Settlement Without a Lawsuit
If a workers’ compensation case is settled without a lawsuit, the timeframe may be shorter than a traditional personal injury case.
Workers’ compensation cases typically settle between three and six months after the claim is filed. However, if the injured worker has third-party liens, such as a medical bill lien, then the case can take longer to settle.
A medical bill lien is a detailed list of bills sent by the billing company to the injured worker. The injured worker includes this in the filed claim with the workers' compensation insurance company.
The insurance companies will then request the medical bills from the billing company after the claim is filed with the insurance company. This can delay the settlement process.
For every workers’ compensation case, there are a lot of back-and-forth negotiations between the injured worker’s attorney and the insurance company. Negotiations can take weeks or even months. The longer the negotiations take to reach an agreement, the longer the case takes to settle.
The settlement process can be challenging, and the injured worker and their attorney should consider the options and decide what is best for their case. It may be possible to settle before a lawsuit is filed with a workers’ compensation insurance company.
Regardless, each case is different, and the amount of time it takes to settle a workers’ compensation claim varies based on the specifics of each case.
Workers’ compensation settlements can vary based on the type of insurance company paying the claim. For example, a company with a larger insurance pool will take more time to settle a workers’ compensation claim because they have more money to cover the settlement. On the other hand, a small insurance pool will pay less and settle quicker.
A lump-sum payment, which is a one-time payment, may not be faster than a structured settlement. However, a structured settlement will be paid out in a series of payments over time. A structured settlement will be a set dollar amount per month, which the injured worker and the attorney may be able to negotiate a larger payment than a lump sum payment.
The time it takes to settle a workers’ compensation case varies depending on various factors. The time frame is shorter than a traditional personal injury case because there is no court process involved. However, this may not be quicker than a structured settlement, which is paid out over time. Regardless of the time frame, injured workers and their attorneys should be aware of the specifics of their case and the possible outcomes.
Hire only the best California workers compensation attorneys today. Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers, can help you out. We have offices in Oakland, Tracy, Concord, San Jose, Stockton, and Sacramento. Contact us at 800-606-6999 and get a free consultation.