No case is predictable to an exact time and each case is different, but generally speaking worker’s compensation cases take approximately one year or more to complete, depending on the complexity of the case.
Our attorneys cannot really break ground on your case in the courts until you are done treating with the medical providers. However, we will immediately file your claim petition and begin working with the insurance carrier to develop a strong case on your behalf.
After we file a claim petition, commonly referred to as a CP, your employer will have approximately 30 days to file an answer. Once an answer is filed, all parties will begin discovery. Discovery is a legal process through which our attorneys exchange information with your employer, to develop the information necessary to prove your case.
The next step, after discovery, is to schedule permanency examinations. You will be required to undergo an independent medical examination with a doctor of our firm’s choice (referred to as an IME). Around the same time will be required to undergo a defense medical examination with a doctor of your employer’s choice (referred to as a DME). These examinations will be used to determine the permanency of your injuries.
After these examinations, your case will be listed by the Division of Workers Compensation for a status conference. Our attorneys will go to this conference and meet with an attorney representing your employer, as well as the Judge. During this conference, either a settlement that meets your approval will be reached or all parties will agree to try the case.
Of course everything that is discussed above takes time and nothing happens overnight. Your cooperation and attentiveness to our phone calls, paperwork and so forth helps to keep the case moving along.