How Much is a Workers’ Comp Claim Worth?
According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds. While a lot of those injuries are minor, some are severe enough to cause the injured employee to not be able to work and require extensive medical attention.
In this case, the employee will want to file a workers’ compensation case to take care of medical bills and lost wages. But how much is such a claim worth?
When in doubt about any aspect of workers’ compensation, it is best to get advice from a lawyer with extensive experience in these types of claims.
How Much to Expect in Workers’ Comp Benefits
Workers who have been seriously injured or developed an illness because of work-related activities will quickly start to see their bills pile up. This brings up the question of how much can be expected in workers’ comp benefits to cover these expenses.
There are various factors that determine how much a workers’ compensation claim is worth. While some claims may only have a value of a few thousand dollars, others might have a settlement value of several hundred thousand dollars or even more. The most important determining factor here is the severity of the injury or illness in question.
It is important to note that every workers’ compensation claim must be evaluated according to its own facts and circumstances by an experienced attorney to determine what benefits might be obtained.
With this in mind, the only way to establish a reasonable expectation in medical care coverage and lost wages for your specific claim is to have a qualified attorney examine your case thoroughly.
Average Amount in Workers’ Comp Settlements
Considering statistics, one comes to the conclusion that the average amount paid out in a workers’ compensation settlement is about $20,000. Some injured workers get a lot more and some a lot less depending on the circumstances of their cases.
Most worker’s comp cases are settled before the matter goes to court. This means that both sides negotiate and the insurer’s legal representatives go out of their way to pay as little as possible since this is in their best interest. Severe cases, such as where workers suffer brain injuries, amputations, vision loss, and other life-long injuries may merit much higher amounts with periodic payments.
The best advice when determining how much you might be entitled to due to an injury or illness suffered at work is to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Workers’ Comp Payments for Medical Care and Lost Wages
Workers’ compensation ensures injured workers will have the funds they need to pay for essential medical care they need to get back to a normal life. This government-mandated insurance program also grants a percentage of lost wages to employees who cannot return to work because of the severity of their injuries or illness.
But how much can you expect to get for these expenses?
Medical Care Benefits
Workers’ comp medical care benefits are intended for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. This means that any medical attention injured workers get has to be related to the injury or illness suffered on the job and approved by a physician and/or the insurance company
Employees also get access to medical professionals in case future medical care is needed after the condition in question has stabilized.
It is important to note that injured workers who settle for a one-time lump sum payment usually give up their right to re-open their case down the line.
A worker’s comp settlement usually covers the following medical costs:
- Emergency Room Care
- Doctor Visits
- Physical Therapy
- Medical Devices such as Crutches and Wheelchairs
Your possible settlement could include other medical expenses depending on the circumstances of your case. Your workers’ comp attorney can help you decide what other medical costs can be claimed.
Lost Wages Benefits
Aside from having to deal with a serious injury or illness and the expenses associated with them, injured employees also have to worry about paying normal bills. This is why workers’ comp also takes lost wages into account when granting benefits.
How average weekly lost wage benefits are calculated depends on the severity of the injuries in question.
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary Total Disability benefits are given to injured workers who are completely unable to work because of their injury or illness for at least seven days. They get two-thirds of their previous wages up to a predetermined maximum.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
Injured Employees who are still able to work but not performing the same duties as before or fewer hours are entitled to Temporary Partial Disability benefits. These benefits are calculated at two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s previous earnings and what he or she is currently earning.
For example, if your weekly wages amounted to $900 a week before the accident and your wages are now $600 a week, the difference is $300. You would be entitled to $200 weekly in workers’ compensation benefits.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Employees who are deemed completely unable to go back to work in any capacity are eligible for Permanent Disability benefits which could go on for life. These benefits grant injured workers two-thirds of their previous weekly wage.
Permanent Partial Disability
Workers who suffer a disability that is only partial may be granted Permanent Partial Disability benefits. They will receive two-thirds of their pre-injury wages, usually with a time limit depending on the body part that was affected and how severely.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Deciding to what degree a worker is injured and how much a workers’ comp claim is worth is often a point of contention that can affect the amount of benefits they are given.
When work-related accidents are relatively minor, a workers’ comp claim can be easily handled without the aid of an attorney, but things can get complicated when injuries are major and insurers refuse to pay. Because of this, it is important to get legal advice and representation.
Get in Touch Now
We know that dealing with an injury or illness due to job-related activities is not easy and we want to help. You deserve workers’ comp benefits and we can determine what your claim might be worth after examining all the facts of your case.
Get in touch now with the Law Office of Robert E Frawley at (617) 523-2929.