The process can vary significantly from case to case, but generally it takes about a month for the QME to issue a report. Then, assuming the report addresses all of the relevant issues (and no further evaluations, supplemental reports, depositions, or other discovery are needed), a settlement proposal can be made. If both parties are in agreement with the QME's report, an agreement can be reached within a matter of weeks. If, however, one party has a disagreement, a hearing should be requested at the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. An initial hearing will be held approximately thirty days after it's requested, and if the parties are still unable to reach a settlement at the initial hearing, a trial will be scheduled approximately thirty days after that.
You indicate that you've been off work for a year on TTD. Are you still TTD or has the doctor indicated that you have now reached maximum medical improvement(MMI)? Generally, you can't even begin to settle your case until you've reached MMI. If not, then you don't even begin talking about settlement until you are MMI. If you are MMMI, then, depending on the report, it could be from 3 months to a year before the case gets settled.
Both of my colleagues answers are right.
I would only add that simply seeing the QME and receiving his/her report is not necessarily going to put your case into a settlement posture. If, for instance, the QME recommends additional testing or treatment and considers you as not having reached MMI, then the insurance carrier is obligated (generally) to provide it. If the carrier disagrees, they can take the doctor's deposition. Sometimes, it is necessary for your attorney to file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to an Expedite Hearing in an effort to compel the carrier to provide either TTD or medical treatment.
In truth, the case usually only moves as fast as your recovery and reaching MMI.
Since you are seeing a QME, does this mean that you are without an attorney? If so, you absolute should get an attorney BEFORE seeing the QME. You simply do not have the resources to determine which of the three names on the QME list is the best option. Get an attorney here at AVVO or at www.caaa.org or call or email me. I am local to you and have been doing workers' compensation cases for more than thirty years.
The information given is generic and does not constitute legal advice, which would only be given after a complete review of the specific facts of your case.
The timeline for a case varies depending on the individual circumstances of your case and the status of the medical treatment. If you need further treatment the case may be delayed. Have you seen a psychiatrist to determine the level of emotional distress or psychiatric issues? Have you had a sleep study?
Given the serious nature of your case I would definately recommend that you seek the services of an attorney
The information provided above does not create an attorney client relationship, nor is it meant to be legal advice. The analysis of any issue is highly dependent on the facts and circumstances of each individual matter. We recommend that you seek a free consultation with an attorney to further address your questions.
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