If an employee suffers a bodily injury at work, they have the legal right to get compensation. Generally, the most straightforward way to get compensation is to file a workers’ compensation claim, which, if successful, will offer the employee medical benefits and wage replacement caused by the workplace injury. The employee has to meet certain requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation claims, such as reporting the injury on time. The compensation they receive depends on several factors. Let us explore the settlement an employee can expect from a workers’ compensation case.
Average Settlement Amount For a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The average settlement amount for a workers’ compensation claim is around $20,000. However, as every workers’ compensation case is unique, the compensation can vary widely. A case that involves long-term and permanent disability can settle for a significantly larger amount than a case involving a temporary, short-term injury.
Knowing the average amount might not be of much use to you as your case could be different than the average. If you are an employee of the company, ideally, you want to contact a workers’ compensation attorney to get a more specific answer based on the facts of your case.
How Workers’ Compensation Settlements Are Calculated
The workers’ compensation insurance provider can negotiate a settlement without needing to go to court. If the employee agrees to the settlement, and accepts it, and the case is resolved. However, they don’t agree, then they have to take the case to court to get benefits. You can get a workers’ compensation hearing before an administrative law judge, who will render a verdict based on the evidence you submit in court.
Employees can claim economic expenses in workers’ compensation, such as medical expenses and lost wages, however, non-economic expenses, such as pain and suffering cannot be included in these claims. They may have to file a separate claim if they want to recover compensation for emotional distress, trauma, and other non-economic losses.
Factors That Influence The Settlement Amount
Some state laws can influence the settlement amount. Each jurisdiction could have specific formulas for calculating settlement amounts. Some states use a predetermined schedule or chart to assign a value to the case. The value is assigned based on how the injury impacts the daily life of the worker, including their ability to perform normal living functions.
Wages before injury and post-recovery earning capacity
If there is lost income or loss of earning capacity, then that plays a key role in determining the settlement. The benefits are designed to provide support to the individual, so if they experience a long duration away from, or have to leave, work, then the settlement amount should reflect that.
Severity and nature of injury
The most important factor in the calculation of workers’ comp benefits is the severity of the injury or illness. If the worker suffers a permanent or long-term disability, it generally leads to a higher settlement amount.
Age and life expectancy
Generally, for older workers, the settlement amount would be lower. Younger workers could potentially receive a larger settlement amount as they could be facing a longer period of medical expenses and lost income.
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The best way to determine a fair settlement amount for workers’ compensation claims is to consult an experienced Belleville lawyer for workplace injury claims. They can assess your case and guide you on what compensation to expect or demand in your claim. The attorney can also guide you on how to maximize your chances of securing compensation.
If you are wondering whether it is worth having an attorney, you should know that a lawyer significantly increases your chances of securing full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. Not only can they help with all the paperwork, but they can help you gather evidence, establish liability, and negotiate with the insurance company.