How long does it take to settle a Workers’ Comp claim?

Cases involving workers’ compensation can occasionally be resolved quickly (within a few weeks or months), but most can take years to settle.

On average, a workers’ compensation case will be settled within 16 months. A resolution could lead to a court hearing or a settlement agreement. Under 20% of cases are resolved in the first 6 months. Most workers—roughly half—complete their claims within 13 to 24 months.

Each case is unique and will have a different time frame for settlement.


Cases resolved within 6 months


Cases resolved within 13-24 months

Can my Workers’ Comp case settle without a lawsuit?

In short, yes, but you may be losing some of your potential benefits from the case. If you can resolve the dispute without resorting to litigation, it will often greatly speed up the entire process. Without going to court, agreements can be reached in months.

Keep in mind that requests for workers’ compensation payments are considered claims for workers’ compensation. If you haven’t yet filed a lawsuit, you may still be able to make a claim for benefits.

Before filing a lawsuit, workers (and their attorneys) will frequently attempt to reach an agreement with the workers’ compensation insurance provider. This strategy is often successful, but if it fails, it may take more time because it delays the filing of your workers’ compensation complaint.

But just because an out-of-court settlement is quicker does not imply that it is always the right line of action. In many cases, you will need to file a lawsuit in order to receive the compensation you deserve to compensate you for your work injury.

Things that affect the average time to settle a Workers’ Comp case:

  • Type of injury
  • Recovery time from the injury
  • Whether you have a complete, partial, or full recovery from the injury
  • Involvement of a lawyer (or not)
  • Negotiation or acceptance of the funds offered to you
  • If the case goes to hearing
  • Whether you need to file an appeal

Longer Workers’ Comp cases often lead to higher settlements or awards. This is not always the case, but it’s important to remember that in the long run, it’s not a bad thing to have a case that takes a while to settle.

Do insurance companies prolong a Workers’ Comp settlement?

Since the insurance company typically covers the cost of workers’ compensation benefits, their actions have a significant influence on how the case progresses.

The case’s timing may be greatly impacted if an insurance company (or its lawyer, or the employer) is slow to assess the case, follow up, or set deadlines.

If an insurance company challenges the rate of permanent impairment that has been awarded to you, for instance, cases will typically take longer. The length of the case can alter significantly if your doctor determines that your disability is 30% while the doctor for the insurance company determines that it is 10%.

The impairment rating is the key area of focus for insurance companies since it significantly affects how much you are entitled to in workers’ compensation claims. If the permanent disability rating is contested, the case will frequently take close to an additional 5 months.

Insurance firms analyze claims and often handle numerous claims at once. Processing all of that data requires time and might result in severe process delays.

Here are some common delays for Workers Comp cases:
  • Slow response times
  • Lack of response from an attorney
  • Slow responses from hospitals and clinics to send medical records
  • Ignoring requests for medical treatment
  • Difficulty getting in to see a particular doctor or specialist
  • Delays in scheduling important events (i.e. independent medical examinations(IME) or depositions)

There are instances where an insurance company will purposefully hold up your claim, even though many of these delays are just a normal part of a workers’ compensation case. They might do this to irritate the employee in an effort to get them to drop their claim or settle for less money. Always consult a lawyer before accepting a lump sum settlement.

Should I accept a lump sum settlement for my Workers’ Comp claim?

It’s crucial to keep in mind that if you are awarded a lump-sum settlement, you’ll no longer receive weekly checks to replace your lost wages, medical expenses, or both.

Settlements can occasionally be helpful in shortening the payment timetable, notwithstanding their downsides. For years, you won’t have to be concerned about the employer’s insurer carefully examining your condition. If you recuperate and do not have a permanent handicap, you may also go back to work and keep the settlement.

When it comes to work-related injuries, every situation is unique. To determine whether a lump sum payment makes sense for your settlement offer, it is actually best to speak with your lawyer about your disability benefits, medical expenses, and long-term outlook.

Get an experienced Ohio Workers’ Comp Attorney on your side

As one of the first attorneys in the State of Ohio to be board certified as a specialist in Worker’s Compensation Law, Tom Marchese has the knowledge and experience to greatly benefit your case. He will personally handle every aspect of your case. It won’t be passed off to a junior associate, and it won’t be treated like any other file in a stack. He will support you throughout the process, from consultation to resolution.

Whether you need to file a new claim, your claim was denied, or you need to appeal a denied claim, contact Thomas Marchese. To discuss a potential settlement amount or the time frame for your settlement, call today.

Additionally, here are steps to take after a workplace injury.

Columbus Workers Comp attorney, Tom Marchese
I’m Thomas Marchese,


I was one of the first attorneys in the State of Ohio to be board certified as a specialist in worker’s compensation law and I will personally handle your entire case.

You will never be handed off to an inexperienced associate and your case is not just another file in a stack. From consultation to final settlements, I will be by your side.

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