According to a report from Insurance Journal, it takes significantly longer to close the average workers’ compensation claim in California than it does in most other states. While it takes seven years for 90% of workers’ compensation claims to be closed in California, it only takes three years to do so in the median U.S. state. Within this article, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyer provides a more comprehensive overview of the workers’ compensation data in California.

Why Would a Workers’ Compensation Claim Take More Time to Resolve?

Every workers’ compensation claim is different. There are several reasons why a workers’ compensation claim might take more time to close. Some possible reasons include the following:

  • Severe injuries;
  • Complex case;
  • Disputes between parties; and
  • Processing errors.

For employers, insurers, and claims administrators trying to resolve claims more quickly, a well-designed system to handle, evaluate, investigate, process, and defend claims is crucial.

What is Going on in California? Understanding the Report

The report cited by the Insurance Journal comes from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB). It is called Drivers of California Claim Duration. The analysis from the WCIRB is focused on why workers’ compensation claims take more time to close in California than they do in most other jurisdictions. The WCIRB found four specific “duration drivers.” Here are the four primary reasons why California is different than other states:

  • More Permanent Disability Claims: Permanent partial disability claims (PPD claims) typically take more time to close. California has a much more significant proportion of PPD claims than the nation as a whole. The WCIRB reports that California has 100 percent more PPD claims per 100,000 workers than the median state.
  • More Cumulative Trauma Claims: Cumulative trauma claims also take more time to resolve than the average workers’ compensation case. These cases tend to be highly complex. California has a far higher rate of cumulative trauma than the median U.S. state.
  • Greater Use of Medical-Legal Reports: In California, medical-legal reports are used more frequently than in other states. These reports are often necessary, but they can slow down the claims process. PPD claims, in particular, often have multiple medical-legal reports. 
  • Los Angeles Region an Outlier: Finally, the WCIRB notes that there is considerable variation across WCAB locations in our state. Notably, the Los Angeles region stands as an outlier. Claim duration is a lot longer on average in the Los Angeles area than in other parts of California.

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Fresno Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer

At Yrulegui & Roberts, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense attorneys are experienced advocates for employers, insurers, and claims administrators. We are committed to helping clients protect their best interests. Give us a call now or connect with us online to arrange your fully confidential case review. With a law office in Fresno, we serve WCAB locations throughout the whole region, including Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, and Van Nuys.