I get this question a lot. The honest answer is there is no answer. Some cases finish fairly quickly and others can take a couple of years. On average in Tennessee, if a workers compensation case does not settle it will take about a year and a half to get to trial. Unfortunately, it just takes time and work to get a case ready for trial. It is not something you can rush.
Here is what is involved. After you have been released from your workers comp doctor and obtain an impairment rating you must have a benefit review conference (BRC) with the opposing side. This is basically a mediation that is conducted by the Department of Labor of the State of Tennessee. Probably about 70% of the cases get resolved at this juncture. As such, if your work comp case is completed at this section then your case is over fairly quickly. If you are unable to reach an agreement at the BRC then the next stop is litigation.
Once a lawsuit is filed the other side has thirty (30) days to answers. The parties then generally trade written discovery. This will take another couple of months. After the written discovery is completed depositions of parties, witnesses and doctors are conducted. Once all of this process is completed the case can be set for trial. Sometimes a trial judge can set your case quickly and sometimes their docket is very busy.
The bottom line is that you just have to be patient. I know this can be difficult but if you do not build the case or want to just settle early you will likely not be getting the full value of your claim. Also, just because it is taking time does not mean that your lawyer is not working. Feel free to ask them what has been done and what else needs to be done. They should be able to tell you their strategy and give you a rough timeline.
If you have a questions about a Tennessee Workman’s Comp Case feel free to contact our office. We have lawyers handling TN work comp cases throughout the state.