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The Unpredictable Journey of a Workers' Comp Claim

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Time goes slower when you want something to finish quickly. That is what happens with Workers’ Comp cases. You don’t know what to expect or how much to wait.   

And that is perfectly normal. As an injured worker, you think about your recovery and providing for your family. So, your mind is already busy, and thinking about something else can be arduous. 

These cases can take a long time, but there is no standard length for them. Every case is different, so the answer depends on many components. Being patient might seem challenging, but it is the only way to go.  

Keep reading and find below the factors that determine how much your Workers’ Comp claim will take. 

1. How Long Will Your Case Be? 

How long does it take for a Worker's Compensation claim to be resolved? The answer is the classic: it depends.  

Every case differs from the other, and many factors influence each timeline. When you file a claim, the first step is to know whether the case will be accepted or denied.   

This decision sets the stage for the journey, so it's a pretty big deal. If the case is denied, it will be even longer due to all the following processes. However, the most significant factor is the medical treatment required to resolve the injury. 

2. Does the Medical Treatment Matter in a Workers’ Comp Case’s Length? 

In addition to the litigation component to get your case accepted, the medical treatment largely dictates how long the claim will take. Ultimately, your case will be done when you reach permanent and stationary status.   

To put it simply, your case is over when you medically plateau from the medical treatment. As long as there are beneficial treatments for you, the doctors will continue to give you medical care.   

Let’s look at this example.  

If you have a herniated disc in your back, expect a long road ahead. That is because you have to deal with medication, physical therapy, injections, and maybe even surgery.   

3. What Other Situations Can Cause Delays in Your Case? 

The medical treatment timeline is just one part of it all. As mentioned above, if your treatment is denied or only partially authorized, it will take a long time to solve.

Why is that so? Because you will have to appeal the decision to get the care you need to recover.   

And even once you've medically plateaued, you may still have some bumps in the road ahead.

For instance, you may not be happy with your Permanent Disability rating. Or there may be other reasons to cross-examine the doctor, request supplemental reports, or even take your case to trial. 

4. What Is the Average Workers’ Comp Length? 

So, how long can you expect your journey to take? On average, most cases take 12 to 18 months, but some are far more complicated and can take longer.   

At the end of the day, a Workers' Comp case length depends on several items, such as: 

  • The facts on the case 
  • The legal issues in your case 
  • Your medical conditions 
  • What the doctors do to address these conditions  


So, how long will your Workers’ Comp claim take? That can only be unraveled by each case detail. Although the average length is 12 to 18 months, it depends on litigation and medical particularities you may find ahead.   

Your case can meet obstacles like treatment authorizations or denials. It can also take a while for you to reach a medical plateau. Remember, your case is not a sprint; it is a marathon.   

Either way, you do not have to do this all by yourself. An experienced attorney will help you get through this long road. 

Do you need help with your case? Contact Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers for a free, confidential case evaluation. Call us at 800-606-6999 or make an appointment here.      

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