Monday, July 13, 2009
Time Lines or How Fast Does It Go?
We always seem to get this question from most of our workers compensation clients. First, any time frame may still depend on the doctors. Only after you reach maximum medical improvement(MMI) and also obtain an impairment rating do we then try to guess on the time line. It is truly just an educated guess because so much depends on factors not within our control. The other side can take one day or 30 days to decide what to do. We then must review what they have done and determine if the doctors are correct. More often then not we decide to question what your authorized physician concluded on MMI/rating. This process can take several months and involves legal actions and another medical examination. Even then each side has to act again. The other side has to decide to accept or dispute matters and we also have to review and decide how to proceed. Should you not be at MMI then more treatment can take place and we then wait for that to conclude. The point is that it's like a chess game where one move you make means the other side has time to also make a move. So when we say it can take several months just when you think it's all coming to an end it is because of this back and forth legal/medical process. Many people are quite anxious to resolve matters but this process simply takes time. Having said all this I can indicate that once the treating doctor says you are at MMI (and that is really the case) it can easily take 6 months to either settle or go to the hearing in a typical case. I've had cases which settle faster but then I've had cases which took longer. From the very beginning of your case to the end can take just a few months or much much longer even without any appeal. A key point is that most of the time is devoted to your treatment and medical examinations.