The relationship between attorney involvement, claim duration, and workers' compensation costs

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Sep;50(9):1013-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31816fd696.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the relationship between attorney involvement, claim duration and workers' compensation claim costs.

Methods: We identified and compared 738 claims with attorney involvement and 6191 claims without attorney involvement submitted by individuals injured between August 1, 2003 and July 31, 2004 whose claims were paid by the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation (LWCC). At the time of assessment (March 20, 2006), 97.7% of claims not involving attorneys and 57.5% of claims involving attorneys were closed (resolved).

Results: After controlling for lost time (temporary/total days paid), attorney involvement was associated with consistently higher medical, indemnity and claims handling costs, as well as increasing claim duration (accident date to closing date).

Conclusion: Attorney involvement in workers' compensation claims is associated with increasing claims duration and costs.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lawyers*
  • Louisiana
  • Professional Role*
  • Time Factors
  • Workers' Compensation / economics*
  • Workers' Compensation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Workers' Compensation / organization & administration