Most employees reasonably expect their employer to do everything in their power to protect them from harm while on the job. While many employers take this responsibility seriously, millions of workers still get injured yearly.

Getting hurt while at work can be physically and financially devastating, especially if the injury is severe enough to hinder you from doing your job and getting paid. While injured workers have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, you may be wondering about the timeline of your settlement. So, when will workers’ comp offer a settlement so you can pay your bills and expenses? This guide will give the answers you need.

What is a Workers’ Comp Settlement?

When filing a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance company assesses your offer, considering factors like lost wages, physical condition, medical bills, disability status, and more to determine your deserving compensation. Unfortunately, what the insurance company offers doesn’t always cover your needs, and you may have to pursue a settlement. In such cases, you may wonder, “How do workers’ comp settlements work?”

You’ll need to go through a negotiation process to obtain a fair settlement. This settlement offer should cover current and future medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. If you’ve arrived at this point and haven’t secured help from an attorney, now is the time to do so.

You are not obligated to hire legal help. Some employers even advise against it. However, an attorney understands the rules and regulations that govern the workers’ compensation process and can ensure you don’t forfeit any damages by violating them. Your attorney can also speak with you about examples of workers’ comp settlements and help you understand what to expect in your case.

Your attorney will also be a seasoned negotiator who understands the tactics of big insurance companies and knows how to thwart those moves to get to the ultimate goal. Without the help of an attorney, you’re leaving a lot up to chance, which can have severe consequences for your health and financial well-being.

workers comp paperwork

How Long Does a Workers’ Comp Settlement Take?

While there is no way to tell an injured worker exactly how long it will take to receive a workers’ compensation settlement, most similar cases are settled within 12-18 months. Workers should know that different factors influence the timeline of your settlement. Read on to discover those factors and how they may come into play in your settlement case.

Maximum Medical Improvement

When negotiating a fair settlement in your workers’ compensation case, your lawyer wants to ensure that the money you receive will adequately cover your current and future medical expenses. However, that can be difficult to do when you are still receiving treatment for your injuries. If your condition changes significantly, so will your medical expenses.

Because you cannot change a settlement once you have signed the dotted line, your lawyer will usually wait until you have made maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means that your condition has improved as much as it ever will, and it is unlikely that you will continue to get better. You may still be in pain and receiving treatment, but that treatment is usually designed to simply maintain mobility or bodily functions.

Unfortunately, waiting for your doctor to declare MMI can delay your settlement for weeks or months, depending on your condition.

Legal Representation

If you do not have a lawyer working on your behalf and see no reason to negotiate the settlement offer you get from the insurance company, your workers’ compensation case will likely be settled within 12 months. However, hiring legal representation can extend that timeline by a few months.

This is because your lawyer needs time to gather evidence, investigate your case, and talk to medical professionals. Lawyers also understand that negotiation is a delicate process, and they’ll exercise the patience needed to get the settlement you deserve. While working with a lawyer may take up to 20% longer than a typical case, this will likely be offset by an increased chance of getting the outcome you want.

Complexity of the Case

A complex worker’s compensation case often means a longer settlement process.

Sometimes, your employer’s insurer delays negotiations and ensures the case drags on as long as possible, so you will be pressured to accept a lowball offer. If the insurance company is tough to work with and unwilling to compromise, it will delay your settlement. When will workers’ comp offer a settlement in these instances? If it was up to the insurer, you may never get it.

Additionally, there may be some factual disputes in your case. Your lawyer and the insurance company may have different views on whether the insurer has a right to deny your claim or how much compensation you should get for your injuries and other damages.

If the insurer believes your injuries were self-inflicted or due to your own negligence, they may not offer a settlement at all, and your lawyer will have to present evidence to the contrary. Your attorney will also have to prove that your ongoing medical treatments are necessary and accurate calculations of how much they will cost. Gathering all of this evidence may further delay negotiations.


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What Happens at a Workers’ Comp Settlement Hearing?

You, your lawyer, the insurance company’s attorney, and the judge will be at every hearing in your case. Depending on the circumstances, you should also expect witnesses, medical professionals, and representatives from your employer and your insurance company. Once all parties are present, here’s what you can expect to happen as the case unfolds:

Documents and Evidence

Your attorney and the insurer will present evidence at the very beginning of the hearing. These documents can include medical records and bills, lost wages, employment records, witness depositions, and job search documents.

It’s important to note that you may be required to submit copies of these records to the insurance company’s attorney before you present them in court. If you fail to do so, it could jeopardize your case.


You will usually be required to testify about how you were injured, your medical condition, your job duties, and any attempts you have made to return to work. Your lawyer should prepare you for any possible line of questioning and advise you about what you cannot say. Either side can present other witnesses, such as co-workers who saw the incident or medical professionals, to testify about your condition.

Judge’s Decision

Judges usually do not decide your case at the hearing. They need time to review documents and consider what has been presented in witness testimonies. A judge will usually write their decision and mail a copy to all parties within 90 days. You can appeal if there is a ruling against you but be aware that there may be a very short filing deadline for that appeal.

person signing paperwork with a gavel next to him


How long does It take to get workers’ comp settlement checks?

It may be an additional two months before you see any funds in your bank account. It’s essential to be aware that you likely won’t be paid immediately after receiving a workers’ compensation settlement in your favor. Though you may feel that you have waited long enough, administrative processes take time, and you must be prepared for the delay.

How long does it take a judge to approve workers’ comp settlements?

How long you will wait for a judge’s approval depends entirely on the state laws. In some states, a judge only has 30 days to decide. In other states, they may have up to 90 days. Your lawyer will advise you about the specific timelines in your state.

How long after deposition is settlement workers’ comp?

Your case may take 12-18 months to settle, but there is no time limit for the insurance company to offer a settlement. This will depend on the details of your case and the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate with your attorney.

Secure Pre-Settlement Funding with Oasis Financial

After being injured on the job, you likely want to know one thing: How long after workers’ comp settlement do I get paid?

Insurance companies often delay settlements in an effort to put pressure on plaintiffs to take a lower settlement. Meanwhile, your medical bills and expenses are piling up and can overwhelm you. Life won’t wait for your settlement; you need money as soon as possible.

If this is the case for you, Oasis Financial may be able to help. We offer workers’ compensation pre-settlement funding for Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, and South Carolina residents. We review your case with your attorney and may be able to have funds in your account in as little as 24 hours. Once your case settles, you can simply pay us back from your settlement funds.

If your settlement is taking longer than expected and you’re looking for financial relief, apply today and learn how we can help alleviate your worries so you can focus on your recovery.

Oasis provides pre-settlement funding, also known as consumer litigation funding, to its customers through different products depending on their state of residence or cause of action. Many consumers will be provided pre-settlement funding in the form of a purchase agreement, which assigns a portion of the pending proceeds from their legal claim. Other consumers, such as those in SC and CO will be offered a funding in the form of a pre-settlement loan, sometimes referred to as a lawsuit loan. These transactions have important differences, therefore, consumers should carefully review and be aware of the type of transaction that is offered to them by any funding company.