When you are hurt in a workplace accident or become seriously ill because of hazardous working conditions, you are likely to face serious financial setbacks—both in the short and long term. When your injures prevent you from working and your bills begin to pile up, you probably want to get through the workers’ compensation claims process as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, as any experienced lawyer can explain, the length of a Colorado Springs workers’ compensation claim varies substantially depending on your injury or illness, how long it takes you to reach “maximum medical improvement,” and how well your your employer or their insurance provider comply with state law. To learn more about the timeframe for applying for employee benefits, speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.
How Long Does it Take to Resolve a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Anyone in Colorado Springs who gets hurt or sick on the job and wants to file a workers’ compensation claim must give their employer written notice of their injury within 10 days of sustaining or discovering it. Once notified, the employer has 10 days to report the claim to their workers’ comp insurance provider.
Depending on the circumstances, the injured worker has two or three years to formally file a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The insurance company has 20 days to either accept liability for the injury or illness by filing a General Admission or denying the claim through a Notice of Contest. An injured worker who receives a Notice of Contest has 45 days to apply for an expedited or standard hearing before the Division, which takes place within 60 days or within 120 days.
Once a doctor determines and notifies an employer that a worker has reached “Maximum Medical Improvement,” the employer has 30 days to file a Final Admission of Liability with the Division. The claimant can file an objection to the Admission within 30 days. When they choose not to file an objection, the Division of Workers’ Compensation closes the claim and awards the claimant a lump-sum settlement.
What is the Average Length of a Workers’ Comp Case?
Substantial time might pass between each step of the workers’ compensation claim process in Colorado Springs. When a significant disagreement breaks out between the claimant and their insurer about how bad their injuries are or whether they have reached MMI, the appeals process can substantially drag out the claim as well.
The average amount of time it takes to settle a workers’ comp claim is around 12 to 16 months. That said, it is not uncommon for cases to conclude much more quickly. Other cases take two or more years to conclude.
An Attorney in Colorado Springs Can Explain the Length of a Workers’ Compensation Claim in More Detail
It can be very difficult to know in advance how long your specific workers’ comp claim will take, especially when you suffer a serious injury or contracted a debilitating illness on the job. Fortunately, help is available from a seasoned legal representative who knows how to handle situations like yours effectively and efficiently.
Getting help from a workers’ comp lawyer can do a lot to reduce the length of your Colorado Springs workers’ compensation claim. Get in touch with a legal team member today for a confidential consultation.