This sounds like a typical lawyer answer, but it depends! Each case is different. Some cases are smaller, with a limited window of wage loss at issue- and these tend to resolve quicker. On the other hand, with serious injuries that involve years of treatment, the settlements can take years from the date of injury.
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When the case is in litigation
In terms of litigation, when a petition is filed in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Court, the timeline can range from weeks to 18 months or so, for resolution of the particular petition. Sometimes, the parties are able to reach an agreement and enter into a Stipulation where they agreed to certain terms and payment of certain benefits. In other cases, the original 9 to 12 month scheduling Order from the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judge may have been altered by requests for more time from the attorneys. Why would this happen? Well, sometimes it’s difficult to get a doctor’s deposition date within a time frame- due to the schedules of the doctors, the lawyers, etc. So, in these situations, the Pennsylvania Work Comp Lawyer will ask for additional time- and it’s often granted if the Judge believes it’s for “good cause”.
When parties want to reach a settlement
In some circumstances, the parties try to delay the litigation because they don’t want the Workers’ Compensation Judge to decide the issues because they are trying to reach an amicable resolution of the issues before the Judge, or to settle the case in its entirety. Some Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judges are more flexible than others in this regard. The best thing to do is to make sure your opponent is on the same page so that when you make a request to continue or postpone a hearing, that you’re solidified as a team for this particular issue- even if you’re opponents on the legal issues. This will help get the request granted in your favor.
In the end, each case is different
The last thing you want to do is compare your case to a friend or co-worker’s case. Just because their case settled in 45 days, doesn’t mean yours will. Each case will take its own path and there are so many distinguishing features of each case. Don’t waste your time trying to fit your case into some preconceived idea. Make sure your attorney is a Certified Pennsylvania Work Comp Specialist- and not someone who handles many areas of law. Trust in their advice and let them give you their opinions based on their experience.