One of the most common questions I hear as an attorney is, “How long will my workers’ compensation case take?” The truth is, no reputable lawyer can tell you the appointed date and time your case will conclude. Several factors determine how long a workers’ compensation case will take:
Type of Injury: Back, neck, and head injuries (injuries to the body as a whole) generally take longer to heal than hand, arm, foot, or leg injuries (schedule member injuries).
Severity of Injury: The more serious the injury, the longer it takes your body to heal. The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission hesitates to hear cases when the hurt worker has not healed, unless it involves getting the injured worker the treatment they need.
Recovery Effort: Individuals who cooperate with medical providers tend to recover quicker than those who refuse to attend and perform physical therapy and other recommended treatments.
Accommodation of Employer: If an employer is willing to accommodate an injured worker by providing work during the recovery process, then often times the hurt worker is able to return to work sooner.
Cooperation of the Employer and Carrier: Believe it or not, sometimes the attorney defending the Employer and Carrier does not relay information promptly to their clients, who are the Employer and Carrier. Often times a lag in communication can add weeks to a workers’ compensation case’s resolution. Additionally, there is no requirement for parties to enter into settlement negotiations. Just like an injured worker has the right to take their case to a hearing, the Employer has the right to do the same.
The Judge’s Calendar: If a case goes all the way to a hearing, at some point, everyone becomes dependent on the judge’s calendar. All the documents may be filed and everyone setting on go, but stuck waiting because approximately 9,000 injuries are reported every year and only 8 judges handle all of the controverted claims.
As you can tell by now, there are a lot of moving pieces determining how long a workers’ compensation case will last. Not all of it deals with your workers’ compensation attorney, but largely the injury you sustained, the doctors, and the Employer and Carrier.
Source: How Long Will My Workers’ Compensation Case Take? | Home | The Franks Law Firm, PLLC