Clients will ask me from time to time how long it will take to settle their workers compensation case. There is no guarantee that a case will settle. Settlements involve two willing parties. If the insurance company is not willing to settle, only the workers compensation commission can decide if they owe you any money. So the question becomes, how can your attorney negotiate with the carrier to put money on the table as quickly as possible? There is more than one way to get your case settled, and not every attorney does it the same way. Our philosophy as a firm is to be aggressive and get your case to court as soon as possible. The sooner a carrier faces the possibility of a Judge deciding their fate for them, the sooner they are likely to pay a voluntary settlement. There is no deadline for the carrier to make an offer, so it would be impossible to answer how long it will take to settle a case with a “one size fits all” answer. It totally depends on the carrier’s willingness to settle and the facts of each particular case. Whether your case has been admitted or denied by the workers’ compensation carrier can make a difference in the length of time it takes to resolve the case.
If you have received no benefits and your claim is being denied for some reason, our goal is to get you to trial as fast as possible. Cases very frequently will settle before the trial ever occurs, giving you control over the money needed to pay for your medical needs and to move on to the next step in your life.
If you are getting benefits and treating, settling becomes a little trickier. We still do our best to have the case in a posture to be heard by the Judge when you finish treating, but it is difficult to determine a settlement amount when you are still treating and we do not know how permanently injured you are. While it is possible to settle a case before you finish treating, it should be done only under narrow circumstances with a well thought out plan and reason for doing so. Most admitted cases will not settle until after medical treatment is finished. The real question becomes how long your treatment will continue so that you can get to the business of trying the case or getting a settlement. The answer to that is between you and your doctors. Attorneys have no control over the diagnosis and treatment of your symptoms.
The best thing you can do to make your case settle as quickly as possible is to comply with all doctor recommendations and keep our office updated on your medical treatment. Once we know you have been released by your doctor, we can start requesting final medical reports to evaluate for settlement and/or prepare for trial.
Caroline Scott Hommell
If you or a loved one have been injured while at work, contact an attorney at Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. by calling us at 601-948-8005 or by going to our website at http://cglawms.com. There is no fee to discuss your case.