How long it takes to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement may vary from one claim to another, as several factors could affect the duration of your claims process.
There is no specific timetable for completing a workers’ compensation settlement. However, certain stages of the claims process may require waiting periods or deadlines, which may give you an idea of how long it might take for your claim to settle. Ultimately, to get an accurate timeline estimate, you may need to discuss your case with a law firm representative.
Some Timeframes for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Though there is no way to say for certain how long it might take to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement, some provided guidelines may help provide a general understanding of what it may be involved in a workers’ compensation case.
For example, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) explains that, if your employer or their insurance company contests your claim, you may have to wait six to nine months for an administrative law judge (ALJ) to review and rule on your claim.
The time it takes you to file your claim may also impact how long it might take for you to negotiate a settlement. According to the LWC, you must file your claim no later than one year from the date that your injury occurred or you discovered a work-related illness. The relative speed with which you file your claim may alter your timeframe for negotiating a settlement.
Other deadlines dictate when you must file certain documents and how long you have to complete your benefits claim. Other procedures might also affect your ability to obtain benefits or negotiate a settlement. The Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1271 notes that you must generally wait six months from the last payment of benefits for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) to negotiate a settlement, though parties may agree to waive this prohibitive period.
In short, several variables might affect how long it takes for you to secure benefits or negotiate a settlement. A law firm representative may explain with more accuracy what your timeframe for completing your claim might look like.
Your Employer May Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
One factor that may determine how long it takes for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits is whether your employer or their insurance company disputes the facts of your work-related injury or illness.
There are several ways that an employer or insurer might attempt to stall or obstruct your pursuit of workers’ compensation, such as:
- Alleging that you were engaged in horseplay or some other dangerous physical activity not related to your work and that this caused your injury
- Alleging that you were intoxicated at the time that your injury occurred
- Disputing that your injury or illness is not covered for some other reason
- Contesting that the medical care you received was not necessary and should not be covered
The process for resolving a disputed claim may extend the claims process. Your lawyer can defend you against allegations and disputes. To do so, they may gather and cite evidence that supports your claim about how your injury or illness occurred.
In other cases, processing a claim may be straightforward. Your employer and their insurance company may not contest the facts of your accident or illness-causing conditions, which would mean resolving your claim might be a matter of completing basic administrative processes.
A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer May Help You Prepare Your Case
If you are unfamiliar with the workers’ compensation process, it might be difficult to understand how to bring a claim effectively, especially if you also have other concerns, such as your health. Hiring a lawyer to handle your claim may save you the time and effort required to file a claim on your own, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injury or illness.
Your lawyer may handle as much of the claims process as possible, which may include:
- Collecting evidence related to your accident, injury, or illness
- Collecting witness testimony
- Hiring experts to recreate your accident
- Determining the value of benefits you might be entitled to receive
- Filing your claim
- Handling communications with insurers and your employer
- Handling legal processes, such as mediation, should they arise
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf
Your lawyer may work to resolve your claim and handle any appeals necessary if your initial result is not positive.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Wants to Help You with Your Case
A lawyer may help you seek workers’ compensation and handle your claim so that you may focus on your recovery. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation about how we may assist you or a loved one.