How Long Will My Workers Comp Case Take?

Workers’ compensation is a vital safety net for employees who have suffered injuries or illnesses while performing their job duties. However, navigating the process can often seem daunting due to its complexity and the time it takes.

Various factors influence the timeline of a typical workers’ compensation case. It’s always advisable to consult with an experienced workers comp attorney.

At Work Injury Rights, we help employees in Fort Myers, Orlando, and across Florida. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Average Timeframe of a Workers’ Compensation Case

According to a study by Martindale-Nolo Research, the average duration of a workers’ compensation case is approximately 15.7 months. This means that, on average, it takes nearly a year and a half for a case to be resolved.

However, this timeline can vary significantly depending on various factors. It’s important to remember that this is an average figure, and individual cases can be resolved more quickly or take longer depending on their specific circumstances.

Factors That Influence the Timeline

Several factors can influence the duration of a workers’ compensation case.

Legal Representation 

The decision to hire a lawyer can significantly impact the timeline. A lawyer can help navigate the complexities of the workers’ compensation system, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent the worker in hearings and appeals. This expertise can potentially expedite the process, but it may also extend the timeline if legal disputes arise.

Negotiations 

If the worker decides to negotiate for a better settlement, this could prolong the case. Negotiations involve back-and-forth discussions between the worker (or their lawyer) and the insurance company, which can take time.

Hearings and Appeals

Requesting a workers’ compensation hearing or filing an appeal can also extend the duration. Hearings and appeals involve presenting evidence, arguing your case before a judge, and waiting for decisions to be made, all of which add to the timeline.

Disputes Over Permanent Disability 

If there’s a dispute over the worker’s permanent disability (PD) rating — which determines how much they’re entitled to for their permanent work-related injuries — this could lengthen the case.

Interestingly, factors that tend to lengthen cases also tend to result in higher settlements or awards. This is because these factors often involve fighting for fair compensation in complex situations.

Florida workers' compensation claim

Temporary Benefits During Ongoing Cases

While waiting for their cases to conclude, injured workers might still receive some benefits. For instance, if they have to miss work due to their injuries, they can receive temporary disability payments to replace part of their lost wages.

These payments are typically made while the claim is ongoing, rather than in a settlement or award at the end of a workers’ comp case.

Florida workers’ compensation law recognizes two types of temporary disability benefits: temporary partial disability benefits and temporary total disability benefits.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)

Temporary total disability benefits are for injured workers in Florida who are completely unable to work due to their injury. TTD benefits provide injured workers with 66.67 percent of their pre-injury average weekly wages for up to 104 weeks, or as long as the temporary total disability persists.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)

Temporary partial disability benefits are for workers who can return to some form of work but cannot earn a full salary due to their injury. TPD benefits are available when a worker is unable to earn more than 80 percent of their pre-injury wages.

Let Us Help You Get Workers’ Comp Benefits

While it’s natural for injured workers to hope for a swift resolution of their workers’ compensation case, it’s essential to adjust expectations according to reality. The process may take time, but it’s designed to ensure fair compensation for those who’ve been injured on the job.

Remember, every case is unique and timelines can vary. It’s always advisable to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Work Injury Rights at 954-833-5226 who can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights.