Michigan workers compensation lawyer explains the hearing process and why it takes so long when your claim has been denied.
Many people are disappointed when they hear that it takes months or sometimes years to resolve a workers compensation case. This is especially true when they have no income or access to medical treatment. We understand and want to explain how you can speed up your case.
Insurance companies will attempt to delay your case because they are hoping that you will run into financial trouble and will need to settle cheaply. Some defense attorneys will also attempt to delay because they are paid for every time they show up in court.
The best way to speed up your workers compensation case is to understand the process and hire an experienced workers compensation lawyer.
There are four major steps to most workers compensation cases
Step 1 (Pretrial): You will receive a notice of pretrial about 1 month after you file a workers compensation case. The magistrate will take no action other than assigning a new hearing date approximately 60 days later.
Step 2 (Control Date): A control date is a type of hearing where both sides appear in court with the magistrate to ensure that all medical has been exchanged and that the case is moving toward resolution. Control dates happen every 60 days and several are required before a magistrate will set a trial date.
Step 3 (Facilitation): Most magistrates require that a workers compensation case go through facilitation before trial. This gives both sides the opportunity to informally present their case to another magistrate who will attempt to come up with a dollar amount to settle the case. Neither side must accept the amount suggested. Many workers compensation cases are resolved at this step.
Step 4 (Trial): The magistrate will hear your case and make a determination as to the facts and law. You will have a chance to testify and submit evidence. Trial can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The magistrate will issue a formal opinion anytime between a week and several months.
How to speed recovery of workers compensation benefits
There is a provision in the law that allows for an immediate trial date if you were receiving wage loss benefits and they were terminated within the last 60 days. An experienced workers compensation lawyer can use this fact to put pressure on the insurance company to pay benefits voluntarily or settle the case quickly. Don’t wait to get help!
You can also ask that your workers compensation case be put into mediation. The State of Michigan will assign a mediator who will try to bring both sides together. This process usually results in a settlement and is much faster than waiting for trial.
To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers, call (855) 221-COMP for a free consultation. There is no fee unless workers compensation benefits are recovered for you.
- Alex Berman is the founder of the law firm. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.