How Long Does a Worker’s Comp Claim Stay Open Before It Is Settled?
- by Cerity
- Jul 06, 2022
An injury at work can be stressful in many ways. Not only must injured workers deal with the recovery process but they also must handle a lot of the workers’ comp claims process to ensure they get the benefits they need to recover without the added stress of workplace injury-related expenses. If you’re injured at work, there are certain deadlines you’ll need to meet when filing your claim and certain time frames you’ll need to wait out before receiving your benefits.
Cerity understands that the workers’ comp claims process can be complicated. So, let’s go over the ins and outs of the process, including workers’ comp claim time limits and how long a workers’ comp claim stays open before it’s settled.
What is a Workers’ Comp Claim?
When employees are injured at work they can file a claim with their business insurance, also known as workers’ comp. Workers’ comp can be purchased by independent contractors or sole proprietors to protect themselves or provided to employees by businesses as outlined by state law. Either way, workers’ comp offers benefits to help workers and employers avoid surprise costs related to workplace injuries.
Workers’ compensation coverage helps provide coverage for injuries or illnesses that occurred during the course and scope of employment. So, for example, if a waiter slipped and fell at work they would likely be covered. If they were in a car accident on the way to work, however, they would most likely not be covered.
Workers’ comp benefits typically include coverage for:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Death benefits/funeral expenses
Once a worker experiences an on-the-job injury or illness, they can file a workers’ comp and receive benefits. The process varies depending on a variety of circumstances, including the state the injury occurred, the severity of the injury, whether or not specific filing dates were met, and more.
Is There a Time Limit on Workers’ Comp?
State laws vary in regards to filing requirements for workers’ comp claims; however, there are generally two deadlines that must be met. The first is the deadline by which the employee is legally required to report their injury or illness to their employer. The second is the deadline by which a claim must be filed. In most cases, if an injured or ill worker misses one or both of those deadlines, they risk becoming ineligible for benefits.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Once an injured worker has filed a claim, it’s understandable that they’d want to know how long it will be before the claim is settled and their benefits are paid. It’s important to know that some claims may not be closed if the injury or illness warrants future medical bills related to the initial event. For other situations, the time it takes to close the claim depends on things such as injury severity, whether or not there is any dispute about the work-related nature of the injury, whether or not the injured party agrees with their settlement amount, and more.
For claims that don’t involve any legal counsel, permanent injuries, or long settlement negotiations, claims can be resolved in as little as a few months to up to two years. If attorneys get involved, the settlement process can increase to upwards of 18 months.
However, these are just estimates. The exact time it will take your claim to be paid and closed will depend on specific circumstances unique to your claim. To facilitate a smooth claims process, the best things injured or ill workers can do include:
- Report injuries to employers and insurers immediately
- Gather witness testimony or evidence to support the work-related nature of the injury
- Meet all filing deadlines quickly
- Maintain detailed documentation of all medical-related costs
How Can Cerity Help?
At Cerity, we are dedicated to helping business owners and workers get the workers’ comp insurance coverage they need without the hassle. We know that the workers’ comp claims process can be stressful, so we’re here to help. We’ve got an extensive learning center filled with helpful information for injured workers and our team is ready to help answer any additional questions policyholders have.
With our faster, more affordable approach to workers’ comp, businesses can get coverage more easily than ever before. Using proprietary tools and modern technology, we provide quick quotes and instant coverage. Check out our workers’ compensation quote tool to get your free online quote and experience how Cerity does workers’ comp insurance.