One thing that almost everyone wants to know is how much of a settlement they could or should be getting for their worker’s compensation case.
This is a question that really can’t be fully answered for any given case without doing all of the work which has to be done to properly evaluate the case, and what follows is a very basic discussion of how worker’s compensation cases are evaluated for settlement. If you want hard advice about what your case could or should be settled for, then you need to get actual legal help and not simply rely on this.
There are three basic benefits that are provided in most worker’s compensation cases. One of payment of your medical expenses, the other is payment of two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you are off work, and the last is a lump sum payment for permanent disability associated with the injury.
This last benefits is technically called Permanent Partial Disability, and when people talk about worker’s compensation settlements, this is what they most often talking about.
The Worker’s Compensation Act has a schedule which sets a certain number of weeks pay for loss of use of every body part. My way of example, the Act sets the loss of the use of a leg as being worth 215 weeks’ pay. If you lose part of the use of the leg, say 20%, then you would get 43 weeks pay (20% of 215 weeks’ pay). This gets paid to you at the permanency rate – which is 60% of your Average Weekly Wage.
A couple of key points –
1. Because the settlement is based in part on the Average Weekly Wage, you can’t begin to compare settlements unless you have the same Average Weekly Wage. This means that people who are higher wage earners will get more money, all other things being equal.
2. Determining what percentage of loss use of a body part is appropriate for a given case is probably the most important thing that a lawyer does in handling your worker’s compensation case. This is something that should be done only after a full assessment of all of the facts surrounding your case.
There is actually quite a bit more that goes into determining what is a proper settlement in any given case. One of the benefits that you get when you hire a well-qualified worker’s compensation lawyer is that he is going know what all of those factors are and how they affect the “right” settlement in your case.
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this information.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.