What Misconceptions Do People Have About The Workers’ Compensation Process?
The length really depends on the case. I’ve had some cases that I have settled literally within a week after they started.
Other cases could take 6 months a year or year-and-a-half. The length of time to settle really depends on how long it takes someone to heal.
When the injured party begins the workers’ compensation case, one of our major concerns lies in doing all we can do to get the injured person all the benefits they’re entitled to under law. They are entitled to money while they recuperate
The important thing is how can we help this person feel better? What needs to be done? Which doctors do they need to go to? What medical care do they need to feel the best they can?
Let’s say somebody comes in without a tremendous amount of pain, requiring a couple of months of medical care. We can usually resolve their case within a few months.
However, let’s say somebody comes in with significant pain, requiring surgery. We don’t generally settle that case until after the surgery provided that they actually went to have the surgery with the workers’ compensation doctor.
If somebody needs a lot of medical care; for example, if they’re paraplegic or quadriplegic, those cases take more time to develop.
As such, the length really depends on the case. The average case in my office, without surgery, is usually resolved within 6 to 8 months.
If Someone’s Hurt and His Case Takes 6 to 8 months, How Do They Live?
The good news is that we can get them money while they recuperate, depending on what the workers’ compensation doctors say about their work status.
When they hire us to help, we file a claim. We also get in contact with the insurance carrier. In addition, we stay in contact with the lawyer who works for the insurance company, and we make sure our clients get money while they’re recuperating. This way, they don’t lose their home, cars, and valuables.
What Are the Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation?
When you get hurt in a workers’ compensation case, there are essentially three classifications.
Classification No. 1 is medical care. In this category, you get medical care for the injury you sustained for your entire life, provided you go to an authorized and approved workers’ compensation doctor at least once per year. As long as you do that, you get the medical care for life, but again, only for the injuries they sustain in a work-related accident.
Therefore, you don’t receive care for cough, colds, or the flu, for example it’s offered only for the injuries that you sustain in that accident. Once you settle your case, obviously the medical care will stop. But in theory, you can keep that medical care open for life.
The second benefit that you’re entitled to is a mileage expense. At this point in time, this expense is .445 cents per mile every time you go to an authorized and approved workers’ compensation doctor, to testing, or to physical therapy.
Therefore, you can be reimbursed for .445 cents per mile. If you can’t drive to and from your appointments, or you don’t have a car available for you, we can get a car service to pick you up and take you to and from your medical appointments.
The third benefit that you’re entitled to under the law is money. You receive money for the period of time you missed from work when an authorized and approved workers’ compensation doctor says you cannot work. When the doctor says you cannot work, we can get you 66 percent of the average amount of money you were making for several months before the accident. When you can’t work at all under the law, this is known as Temporary Total Disability (TTD).
When you’re on light duty work, this is known as Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). At this point in time, you are given work restrictions such as you can work in 20-hour weeks instead of 40 hour week. Perhaps you could lift 50 pounds, and now you can only lift 10.
When you’re considered TPD, you have to see if your employer has work available for you within your restrictions. If so, you have to do it. If not, you can sit at home and collect the check. The check will be a little less than 66.66 percent.
Technically, this is 80 percent of the loss. You receive this while you’re recuperating. If the employer says they have work available, then unfortunately, you must do it.
There is a third point in time called MMI, which is Maximum Medical Improvement. In this case, you’re as healthy as you’re ever going to get pursuant to the workers’ compensation doctor’s report. You’re not going to get any better. Usually, in this case, we begin to negotiate your case to get you a lump sum settlement. Certainly, we can negotiate it beforehand.
Contact us for more information on Timeframe of Resolution for Workers’ Compensation Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 954-677-0155 today.