It goes without saying that the process associated with a workers’ compensation case can be emotionally and financially strenuous. Because of your injury, you may be going without pay or only being paid a fraction of your typical salary. Your potential physical limitations, combined with the financial stress you may be experiencing, can be difficult to manage while trying to carry out the normal day-to-day tasks in your life. For this reason, it is natural to want your case to move along as rapidly as possible, and your attorney should want this for you as well.
Unfortunately, hospitals, insurance adjusters, and the general nature of legal procedures can make workers’ compensation cases take longer to resolve than you would like. In these cases, it is helpful to understand why something that you may see as quick and easy – like retrieving your medical records – can take quite a long time and delay the next step in your case.
Sometimes it can be incredible difficult for some patients – and those requesting records on their behalf, like a family member or lawyer – to retrieve their records. This process can be quite confusing and vary by hospital or medical center. Sometimes, there is no explanation at all from the hospital as to why your records haven’t been retrieved in a reasonable amount of time. And even when a hospital streamlines the process of initially requesting the records, it can often take four to six weeks (or more) for you or your lawyer to actually receive them. Your lawyer may call the hospital or medical center every day requesting an update or expediting of the records, but hospitals seem to operate on their own timeline, regardless of this pressure.
It is important to remember that the nature of this process can be frustrating and may seem unnecessarily time-consuming, but having a lawyer who is dedicated to following up for you – whether with respect to your medical records, insurance adjuster, or opposing counsel – is essential. If you are wondering if your lawyer is at fault for the lack of progress in your case, remember that many of the procedural steps that must be completed in order for your case to progress are out of their hands.
However, it is important to hire a lawyer who is dedicated to you and your case, and who is eager to take on all the hassles associated with your case so that you can heal as quickly as possible.
If you suspect that your attorney isn't following up on your records, or moving your case forward you should contact your attorney to confirm. If your attorney isn't prioritizing your case, that's a totally different issue.
And you can often speed up the process to retrieve your medical records by retrieving them yourself, and delivering them to your attorney. The medical facility will expedite the process for the patient, at times.
If you believe you have a workers’ compensation case or have questions about the process of getting the compensation you deserve, call us today at 202-393-3320.
We are happy to provide more information about D.C. workers’ compensation cases at no cost, and will even send you our signature book, Protect Your Rights, at no cost or obligation.