When Will Workers’ Comp Offer a Settlement?

Man in blue shirt sits on bosu ball with physical therapist after Georgia Workers Compensation Accident

If you’re wondering when workers’ comp will offer a settlement, it is likely because you have already gone through the frustrating filing process that Georgia claimants must go through to open a case, wait for routine approvals, and suffer through delay after delay.

Waiting to hear back from the insurance companies assigned to your case can be exhausting, especially when you’re reeling from the traumatic experience of a workplace injury with no word on whether or not your treatment and missed wages will be paid for.

The workers’ comp settlement process is neither fast nor easy. Fortunately, employing an effective workers’ compensation lawyer can speed up the process considerably. Call Ramos & Law today to learn about our unique approach and how we can help you get your settlement faster.

Is there Always a Settlement in Work Comp Cases in Georgia?

In Georgia, the settlement process will involve the consent of both parties. There is nothing in the law that mandates or compels either party to settle or resolve the case. However, most workers’ compensation claims do end up settling; however, not necessarily for the value the claimant expects. It is in the best interest of the insurance company to offer you the lowest possible amount of money to close your case. Their loyalties flow to the shareholders of the insurance company, not the injured workers. In fact, the term “adjuster” is often used because they are trying to “adjust” the value of your case to below fair value.

One of the biggest mistakes that we see claimants make is accepting a workers’ compensation settlement without calculating the actual amount they’ll receive and how far their settlement will go toward medical and living expenses. Reaching an appropriate settlement offer often requires negotiation and a deep understanding of the insurance company’s future liability exposure as outlined in the workers’ compensation law. An experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney like Bryan Ramos or Chinny Law can help employees maximize the value of the settlement.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Georgia Workers’ Comp Settlement Check?

There is a lot more that goes into negotiating a workers’ compensation settlement than meets the eye. Before you receive your settlement check, your claim will bounce between you, your employer, your employers’ insurance, your doctors, investigators, and then workers’ compensation board is tasked to review and hopefully approves your settlement. Here are the steps that you need to take to ensure that they handle your payment swiftly:

  1. Report the workplace injury: Immediately inform your employer or supervisor about the injury you sustained at work. This step is crucial as the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act requires that you report your injury to your employer within 30 days to ensure eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
  2. Get a list of medical providers from your employer: After reporting the injury, seek medical treatment promptly. Your employer must provide you with a list of approved medical providers or instructions on where to go for treatment. If it does not, then you are free to treat with a medical provider of your own choosing. If your injury requires immediate attention, go to the nearest emergency room and tell them that you sustained your injury at work.
  3. Document the injury: Keep detailed records of the injury, including any pictures, medical reports, bills, and receipts related to treatment and medications. This documentation will be necessary when filing your claim and throughout the claims process.
  4. Insurance reviews your case: Once your employer’s insurance company receives your claim, it will review the details of your case to determine your eligibility for benefits. This review may involve an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the injury and your medical records. If the adjuster or investigator attempts to take a “recorded statement”, please resist and contact an experienced workers’ compensation firm like Ramos & Law. Remember, anything you say will be used against you in a court of law.
  5. Settlement negotiations: If the insurance company approves your claim and starts providing benefits, it may attempt to offer you a settlement offer. This process involves determining the compensation you are entitled to for medical expenses, lost wages, and any permanent disabilities resulting from the injury. Again, it is important that you receive expert consultation on this as the adjuster has no fiduciary duty to you. In fact, his or her interest is in direct conflict with ours.
  6. Wait for the judge’s approval: In some cases, particularly if there are disputes or disagreements regarding your claim, it may be necessary to have a workers’ compensation judge review your case. You may need to provide deposition testimony, attend evidentiary hearings, or provide additional evidence to support your claim during this stage.
  7. File an appeal: If the judge denies your claim or if you disagree with the decision, you have the right to file an appeal. This involves presenting your case to a higher authority within the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation for further review and consideration.

Again, there is nothing in law that mandates settlement upon either party. The key to attracting top dollar in your workers’ compensation case is to motivate that insurance company into settling the case. Cases can settle quickly in certain circumstances, but the majority of cases takes several months.

How Can a Lawyer Help Your Georgia Workers’ Comp Claim Move Forward?

If you are still waiting to hear back about whether or not the insurance company assigned to your case has approved your claim, an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help. The good news is that insurance companies are required to notify you if your claim has been denied. On the other hand, not having access to necessary medical care and money that is rightfully yours is frustrating and likely very maddening.

If you are struggling to get in touch with an insurance company about your Georgia workers’ compensation claim, call Ramos & Law. Our team of qualified workers’ compensation lawyers are experienced in dealing with insurance companies who don’t want to pay their fair share. Call us at (770) 637-0105 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

When Will Workers’ Comp Start Income Benefits?: FAQ

What is the waiting period for workers’ compensation in Georgia?

In clearly compensable cases, the employee must have missed seven consecutive days after the date of injury before benefits are due. However, the law also provides the Employer up to 21 days to commence the actual payment.

How long does it take a judge to approve workers’ comp settlement in Georgia?

The approval timeline for workers’ comp settlements can vary significantly depending on case complexity and the workload of the “stipulation unit” of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Generally, the approval process takes anywhere from one week to 30 days. However, there is no deadline set by law.

How long after workers’ comp settlement do I get paid?

Once your settlement is approved by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, the employer has 20 days to issue and mail the settlement proceeds to your attorney. Failure to timely pay will subject the employer and insurance company to penalties.

Can I request penalties for workers’ comp delaying payment?

Yes. Insurance companies who delay workers’ compensation benefits are subject to penalties under Georgia law. When insurance companies delay their payment or deny claims without cause, communication from a workers’ compensation lawyer is usually enough for them to follow through. In rare cases where they ignore requests from a workers’ compensation lawyer, filing a workers’ compensation suit will almost certainly get the job done.

Not sure when, or if, Workers’ Comp will settle your case? Call Our Lawyers.

When you or a loved one has been injured in a work accident, the last thing you want to deal with is evasive insurance companies and employers who refuse to play by the rules. Ramos & Law knows how frustrating it can be to wait on a settlement that is rightly yours, never knowing if it is actually coming or not. Call our firm today at (770) 637-0105 or fill out our online contact form. We will make sure that your workers’ comp settlement is on its way and take the necessary avenues on your behalf if it is not.