How long does workers compensation take with representation?
Atlanta, GA |
I was injured on Feb. 21, 2010,(3 fractured vertebrates C5,T12,L2) acquired representaton on March 8, 2010, and still haven't recieved any compensation! How long does my lawyer before I should consult with another lawyer?
If the claim has been "controverted" or denied, it could take several months for your benefits to be started. A hearing request would have to be filed and then a hearing would be scheduled about 2 months away. Then the hearing would likely be continued at least one time to add another 2 mnths before you get to a hearing. Then the judge could take up to another 2 months to rule. You should have a dialog with your attorney about these issues.
OCGA 34-9-221 requires the insurer to pay weekly benefits within 21 days of disability. Since your injury was immediately disabling, benefits should be paid within 21 days of your accident. The only reasons for not paying would be (1) the insurer does not have the necessary information such as doctor’s disability statement or (2) the insurer is denying or questioning your claim. Insurers are supposed to file a denial (controvert) within 21 days also but often do not bother because the penalties for failing to do so are not severe enough. The only way to force the insurer to either pay or deny is to file a form WC-14 request for hearing. There may be reasons your attorney is delaying filing a WC-14. For example, he may hope he can get the insurer to voluntarily start your check and may believe that if a 14 is filed the claim will be denied and have the delay of going to court. That can take a year or longer. Have a detailed conversation with your attorney since he is the one who has all the details of your case and those details can make all the difference in what the correct answer is.- and don't be afraid to ask questions.