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How Long Will My Workers' Comp Claim Take?

When you are injured on the job, you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, these cases can vary, and if you’ve heard anything about these claims you could be wondering how long it will be until you start receiving the care and treatment you need to recover and get back to work. To be honest, there’s no easy answer to this question—every case is unique and whether your employer decides to contest your claim and to what extent they do so will also impact the amount of time it takes to complete the process. Let’s take a closer look at what might occur during your claim and answer some common related questions.

Best-Case Scenario

In a best-case scenario, you make a workers’ comp claim with your employer as soon as possible and they accept it immediately. This means you should start receiving benefits right away, including coverage for your treatments and even compensation for your lost wages.

In this best-case scenario, these benefits will carry through until you reach the point where your condition won’t improve further in the near future or without additional major treatment options. This is known as the point of “maximum medical recovery,” and it plays an important part in your claim. Once you reach this point, your temporary disability benefits will end and you will be re-evaluated again by a doctor. At this point, the doctor will determine whether or not you can return to your position in full capacity, or should be awarded some form of permanent disability.

Permanent total disability means you have suffered a serious injury that has caused you to lose your capacity to work at all. Permanent partial disability means you have only lost some of your capacity, and you can return to work, though possibly not in your original position.

Appeals in Workers’ Comp Claims

The more expensive your injury will be for your employer and their workers’ comp insurance company, the more likely it is that they will choose to appeal somewhere along the way. This may start right from the get-go by denying your claim that you submit for your injuries. When this happens, you have the ability to appeal and demonstrate that the injury was incurred as a result of you performing your job duties. This can take time, however; it’s not uncommon for an appeal to take several weeks.

Either party may choose to appeal a decision made along the way, including decisions made by the Workers’ Compensation Board or obtaining second opinions from doctors regarding a medical condition.

Because this can take such a long time and be difficult to navigate, it’s strongly advised that you obtain an Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can work with you to fight for your rights and obtain a fair deal that you and your loved ones need and depend on after you have been hurt, not the deal your employer’s insurance wants you to take in order to protect their bottom line.

Speeding Up Benefits

The best thing you can do to speed up your claims process is to report your injury to your employer right away. If you fail to report the injury, even if you do so within the legal statute of limitations, your employer may dispute whether or not the injury occurred as a result of your work duties. After all, if you are hurt but don’t report it for two weeks, how can they be sure you didn’t hurt yourself outside of work?

Second, you’ll want to make sure you document everything, and obtain copies of all documents that pertain to your case. This includes copies of your initial injury report, any statements you give regarding how the injury occurred, and any documents or records for doctor visits or treatments (if you see a doctor who is familiar with workers’ compensation cases, they’ll likely be more than happy to provide you with all of the documents you need if you ask for them). These documents can also help you make sure you adhere to all of the necessary guidelines.

Need help with your workers’ compensation claim? Call Humphrey & Associates today by dialing (844) 612-5800 and let us review your options with you!