Why Do Workers’ Compensation Cases Take So Long?

Posted on September 15th, 2017 by Bradley Dworkin

This frustration is expressed by victims across the nation, and the sentiment is shared by Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation attorneys as well. Many times a case seems clear cut and the victim should be compensated accordingly, but unfortunately things don’t always work as quickly as we’d like.

There are multiple factors to consider when trying to project the resolution of a case, from establishing who is at fault to understanding the extent of one’s injuries. Let’s take a more in-depth look at these aspects.

Who Is At Fault

Sometimes it is accepted that an accident occurred and the injured party was innocent in the events that led them to harm. Despite it being clear that the victim is not at fault, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible. For example, if a person is harmed by another who is operating machinery, the responsibility of the action must be determined. Is it the operator’s fault? Was the machinery faulty, and thus a manufacturer’s fault? Was it the company’s responsibility to update the equipment used, and therefore it is the company’s mistake? To determine this a liability expert may be employed to launch an investigation, which can elongate the process.

The Defendant Factor

Whether a case is a personal injury or workers’ compensation case, or maybe even both, the defendant and/or the defendant’s insurance company will want to investigate, they aren’t going to take the victim’s word for it. It is their job to research all aspects of the case and exhaust every effort to determine how serious the injuries are. During this investigation the defendant’s side will decide if they should settle and for what amount or if they should take the case to court. They take their time to weigh their options and explore what is best for their client. This process takes time, so while your attorney waits to hear from the defendant’s side it appears that your case has no movement.

Maximum Medical Improvement

In the first few days or weeks after an injury it is difficult to fully understand the scope of bodily damage. Establishing the severity of your injury is pertinent to your case. Sometimes an attorney may advise waiting until the maximum medical improvement (MMI) is known. This means the victim will wait until they have recovered from the injury as much as possible and then is able to assign value to their full experience. Having this knowledge can give the attorney an edge when negotiating settlement terms, or can be used to strengthen an attorney’s argument, should the case go to court.

In Conclusion…

While resolving a case is at the top of the list, an attorney also wants to do best by their client. Sometimes settling early can get money to a client quicker, but if they had waited, they may have received a better offer. This is not always the case, but is still something to consider. The trust between an attorney and their client is paramount when deciding what path to take.

For more information or to have your case assessed, please contact us at 877-606-6159.

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