It is normal for a workers’ comp hearing to be postponed. Unfortunately, the Georgia 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 for at least 30 days. More often than not, even “second set” hearings are postponed.
Why are workers’ comp hearings postponed?
When we file a WC-14 Request for Hearing, we also send discovery requests to your Employer and Insurer. They have 45 days to respond when these are sent with the hearing request. Once a defense attorney is appointed by the insurance company, he or she will send my office discovery requests as well, and we will have 30 days to respond. If the defense attorney wants to take your 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 have been mailed, about 2-3 months may 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 your deposition is taken, the case begins to move toward settlement or trial.
What if I receive a notice for a workers’ comp hearing?
Don’t show up for a workers’ compensation hearing without your attorney. Sometimes you may receive a notice of a court date even if your attorney has said that the hearing has been postponed. Contact your workers’ comp lawyer to get clarification.
Feel free to contact us, with any questions about the timing of your Georgia workers’ compensation claims.