Michigan workers’ comp lawyer discusses litigation timeline and why it can take so long to resolve a disputed case.
We know it can be difficult waiting for a workers’ comp case to be settled. It seems like the litigation process takes forever and nothing is happening. This is especially true if a person is struggling to put food on the table and cannot pay rent. Clients ask how to check on workers’ comp claim? We usually give them a timeline for the litigation process and some tips for speeding up the case.
Can I check my workers’ comp claim online?
No, but call your attorney and ask for a status update. He or she will be able to explain what is happening and give a timeline. The Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency will also provide a hearing date if you call the site where it is pending. Find out if the matter is on a pre-trial, scheduling conference, control date, facilitation, trial date, or redemption.
We tell our clients that Acknowledgment & Notice of Hearing should be received by them about 30-45 days after the Application for Mediation or Hearing has been filed. A pre-trial will be scheduled but nothing usually happens. It is not necessary to attend pre-trial if represented by an attorney. How to check on workers’ comp claim after pre-trial? Call the hearing site listed on the notice and ask for the next date.
Magistrates typically use the first real hearing as a scheduling conference. Parties will be expected to exchange medical and vocational records by a specific date. Deadlines will also be set for other items such as joining parties, independent medical examination (IME), and depositions. How to check on a workers’ comp claim? Review the Scheduling Order and keep track of important dates.
A control date is used to ensure the case is moving toward resolution. Medical and vocational evidence should be updated and exchanged. Control dates happen every 60 days and several are required before a magistrate will set a firm trial date. The number of control dates that are needed will depend upon scheduling and legal issues. We tell our clients that it can take up to 12 months for a priority trial date to be set. How to check on workers’ comp claim? Call your lawyer and discuss strategy going forward.
This is an informal hearing where both sides present arguments to a neutral magistrate who will come up with a settlement amount. Neither party must accept the recommendation, but it helps narrow legal issues and bring each side closer together. We strongly recommend facilitation because it gets a slow case moving. Parties can request facilitation at any time during the litigation process. It can take a defense attorney several weeks or months to get settlement authority. How to check on a workers’ comp claim? We recommend attending facilitation with your lawyer, so you have a first-hand idea of timeframe and possible next steps.
This is a formal hearing where a magistrate will receive evidence and decide facts and law. Trial can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. The magistrate will issue a written opinion and it will be received by the parties in approximately 30 days. We do not recommend contacting the magistrate to find out when his or her decision will be ready as this could impact the decision in a negative way.
All settlements must be approved by a magistrate at a redemption hearing. A determination will be made whether settlement is appropriate based upon facts and medical presented. Redemptions can usually be walked into court at any time. There is a 15-day appeal period before it becomes final and a settlement check can be issued. It is possible to waive the 15-day appeal period if both sides agree so that a check can be mailed right away.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.