How Long Does Workers Comp Take?
Each of us are different, and so are our injuries. You typically have to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of your work-injury. If it has been longer than two years, there are still some scenearios where you can bring a lawsuit. You should consult with an Alabama Workers Compensation Attorney immediately. You do not have time to spare.
Even after your lawsuit is filed, there are still several stages for the average Alabama Workers Compensation Claim.
Your Medical Treatment - This is Different for Everybody
The first thing that needs to take place is your medical treatment. The Alabama Workers Compensation Act requires that your employer provide you medical treatment for your work-injury. Getting you as healthy as is medically possible is the first priority. Your lawsuit focuses on what happens after your medical treatment has completed.
Workers Compensation medical treatment does not operate the same way that you might be familiar with through private care. You cannot select your own doctor. Workers Comp will pick your doctor, and you can ask for a second opinion if you want, but you only get to do that once. You should consult with an attorney before you spend your only second opinion. Workers Comp also has to approve your treatment. This can require more administrative wrangling that you might be accustomed to with private medical care.
MMI - Maximum Medical Improvement - Your Claim Proceeds - Your Checks Might Stop
Maximum Medical Improvement, or "MMI", is a term that indicates that your medical situation has stabilized. It doesn't mean you are fully healed, it means that you have healed as much as you are going to heal. You have reached a plateau. This means we now have a clear picture of how your work-injury has permanently affected you. We know how much you healed, and how much you didn't. We can now start to talk about how much money you are due in compensation for your permanent damages. If you are receiving Temporary Total Disability Checks, if your doctor releases you to return to work, then your checks will likely stop coming from Workers Comp. You should speak with an Alabama Workers Compensaton Attorney if you are worrried about your weekly checks stopping.
The Workers Comp Lawsuit starts when we file a Complaint. It doesn't have to be after you reach MMI, but it does need to be within two years of your injury. Here's a rough outline of the Workers' Compensation lawsuit process:
- Complaint: we start by filing a complaint in the appropriate court. Probably whatever county you were in when you suffered your work-injury.
- Answer: Your employer then has 30 days to file their response, which is called and answer. They are answering our complaint.
- Discovery: Each side has to swap evidence, and answer written questions about the lawsuit. Each side gets 30 days to do that.
- Subpeonas: If additional evidence is available, and neither party has it (like medical records) then we have to issue subpoenas for the records. Those take at least 30 days to complete.
- Depositions: Once the document evidence is gathered and reviewed, we start to schedule depositions. It typically takes a month or two after all of the evidence is gather for both parties to prepare for depositions.
- Mediation: At this point, almost every Workers Comp claim in Alabama attempst a formal settlement procedure known as mediation.
- Trial: if mediation is unsuccessful we go to trial. The typical Workers Comp trial lasts between one and two days. Many are conducted in a few hours. Workers Compensation claims are not tried before a jury. They are tried before a judge alone.
At any point in the process your workers comp claim can settle. You typicall don't get full settlement value unless we proceed at least through the point of your deposition. On average that is somewhere around 9 months. But, everyone's workers comp claim is different, and there are ways to make it go faster. Your claim certainly does not have to be average. To tell you more about your particular claim, I would have to know more about your case. You are invited to call me: (205) 335-4190 or complete one of my contact forms and I will reach out if I think I can help you.
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Free Initial Strategy Session
All Initial Strategy Sessions are Free. If you would like to discuss your options, you are invited to fill out one of the Contact Forms. I will attempt to contact you if I think I can help you.
During your Initial Strategy Session, I will asist you in creating a strategy on how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a Car Wreck Accident, 18 Wheeler Accident, or, Alabama Workers' Compensation Claim. At your Initial Strategy Session, you will receive the following:
- First - I will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
- Based on the information that you provide, I will give you my best advice on both what claims you have, and the next steps you should consider to proceed with your claim(s).
- If your claim is something that I think I can help you with, I will explain the services that I can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
- If your matter is something that I do not think I can help you with, then I will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
- Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unkowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed some light on what you can expect, and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.
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