So many attorneys out there are afraid or too lazy to go to trial. It’s not super hard work, but it does take time to get a case ready. Even after you go to trial, there is no guarantee as to how long an Arbitrator will take to issue a decision on a claim.
In most cases, our good Arbitrators get decisions back to the attorneys between 30 and 60 days after a trial. There is no law that requires this, but most of them have pride and want to get their work done. Their jobs aren’t guaranteed and if the word gets out that they are lazy, they won’t get re-appointed.
The problem is that not all of the Arbitrators have a strong background in workers’ compensation, so some of them don’t know what they are doing. This is mostly rare as the majority of them are great.
That said, a defense attorney just told me that she was involved in a trial in April of 2012 and ten months later she is still waiting to get a decision. So what ends up happening is that the petitioner gets starved out because they have to wait so long and the insurance company faces so much liability due to the delay that if they lose, they are motivated to appeal.
This is rare and is actually the longest delay I’ve ever heard of. So don’t let your attorney tell you that going to trial will take forever. But in very rare occasions it will.
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