Q: It seems like it takes forever to get anything done on my case, is this normal?
Unfortunately in workers' compensation, even being represented by an attorney, there is a lot of "red tape" that comes along with the process. The average accepted workers' compensation case, again, even with an attorney involved, can take about 2 years from start to finish, and in some cases, even longer than that. There are several reasons why this happens, here are just a few examples:
- A MedLegal doctor must be established on the case. If the carrier refuses to use an Agreed Medical Evaluator (AME) that is initially offered, a panel of doctors must be requested instead. This can easily take up the first 6 months of a case, just waiting for a panel QME list of doctors to come in once it has been requested.
- Even if a panel QME list comes in quickly upon request, most of the Med Legal doctors in California are booked several months out. Because of this backlog, many reports can then take several months to come in for review after you are seen.
- If you have a denied case, there is extra time spent trying to work up your case, and possible hearings to attend just to get basic things authorized or TD started, as there is extra work put into proving your injury as industrial. Denied cases tend to be extra lengthy, but not impossible.
- There is not much control over the availability of the court's calendar when hearings need to be set on a matter, leaving you at the mercy of what they are able to provide. Generally it is not possible to pick an exact hearing date and so although hearings are generally priority for a law firm, all conflicts cannot be foreseen on another parties calendar, and sometimes some things must be rescheduled.