Your employer’s insurance company typically offers workers’ compensation for settlement claims, and they will try to go as low as possible. 12 to 18 months is the average time to reach a settlement agreement. However, it can increase to 24 months or longer if the insurance company digs in its heels and says your claim isn’t valid.
At this point, you need a team of experienced and dedicated Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers to ensure you get fair coverage promptly. They can also negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit on your behalf if they refuse to cooperate.
Some of the common factors that can delay a settlement for workers’ compensation include the following:
To determine the amount of worker’s comp you will receive, you need to acquire a ‘state of permanency.’ To achieve this, a doctor has to determine that you have recovered from your injuries or illness as much as you could and reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Most employers want to reduce the number of approved claims as much as possible to keep insurance costs low. If your employer wants to do the same, they may question your claim by doubting whether it is work-related. They may also claim you can return to work because you are not as seriously injured as you say you are. Any such disputes can delay settlement.
Some injured parties can wait months before seeing how their claim is handled and only hire a lawyer when they face disputes. That is the worst thing you can do. At that point, you may not have access to essential evidence or may receive poor medical aid that can affect your case. This can also delay settlement, but not if you hire experienced legal representation.
You can find a complete schedule of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The schedule is determined according to the number of weeks you have to be paid. For example, suppose your limb is amputated or you suffer from a complete or permanent loss of a body part because of a workplace accident. In that case, you can get the maximum settlement for PPD benefits. There is a different schedule for workers who suffer from partial body part loss, such as a finger or thumb.
The bottom line is that the larger the injury, the longer worker’s comp settlements take. Impairment ratings also impact the duration. For instance, if your physician gives you a 20% permanent impairment rating but is disputed by the insurance company, the timeline for the settlement can also change drastically. The rating will significantly impact the amount of money you get, so the insurance company may double down on their efforts to change it in their favor. A dispute can lead to six months in delays, if not more unless you have experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers in your corner.
Robert Edens has decades of experience representing employees like you and ensuring they get the max settlement amount following a worker’s comp claim. He is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the insurance company if it means you can get a big payout. Get in touch with him for a consultation at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today!