Unfortunately, the Atlanta State Board of Workers’ Compensation has a few Administrative Law Judges and many, many Georgia workers’ compensation claims to be heard at each calendar call. In my experience, at least 99% of “first set” hearings are postponed at least 30 days. More often than not, even “second set” hearings are postponed. Why?
When we file a WC-14 Request for Hearing, we also send discovery requests to the Employer and Insurer. They have 45 days to respond when these are sent with the hearing request. Once a defense attorney is appointed, he or she will send my office discovery requests as well, and we will have 30 days to respond. If the defense attorney takes my client’s deposition, he/she will likely want to request medical records from doctors named in the deposition, and these doctors will have 30 days to respond.
By the time all these Requests for Production of Documents and Interrogatories have been sent, and responses mailed, 2-3 months have passed. Hence, the postponed hearings. In order to try and “fix” this, I work to get my clients’ depositions scheduled as quickly as possible with the defense attorney after we file a hearing request. Generally, once a claimant’s deposition is taken, the case begins to move toward settlement or trial. Feel free to call Mr. Moebes, the Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney, with questions about timing of Georgia workers’ compensation claims.