Ideally, each workers’ compensation claim will be an open and shut case involving an insurance company accepting the claim and provided needed benefits to the claimant. Of course, this is not always the case. Oftentimes, an insurer will challenge or deny a claim, at which point an attorney might be needed to intervene and negotiate a fair settlement amount for the injured worker.
If your workers’ compensation claim goes into negotiations and a settlement looks like it will be on the table soon, then how much money can you anticipate receiving? What is the average workers’ comp settlement amount? The answer is not definitive, unfortunately, due to all sorts of variables that factor into every single workers’ compensation case, making it unique.
What Is The Average Payout for Workers' Compensation?
Calculating a workers' compensation settlement is complicated, as there is no such thing as a typical on-the-job injury case. Most workers' compensation settlements range anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000, with the average falling somewhere around the $20,000 mark. But again, it must be emphasized that you can never predict the value of a worker's compensation case. Every workers' compensation case is unique and will vary in value based on the type and severity of the injury or illness.
The factors that go into calculating a workers' comp settlement include:
- Lost wages
- Current and future medical expenses
- The severity of the injury
- The need for vocational training
- Other recoverable losses
If an average workers’ compensation settlement amount had to be estimated, then you could assume the low end would be several thousand dollars. However, when this amount of money is in question, an insurance company will feel less inclined to challenge it and might rather close the case quickly by complying. This strategy can save them on legal costs.
On the higher end of the average spectrum, you could estimate that a workers’ compensation settlement could range up to $50,000 or so. It is about at this range that insurance companies want to put up a fight and see if they can pay less to a claimant. Of course, there are outlying cases that have much higher values, possibly reaching six-, seven-, or eight-figures!
Wages & Medical Benefits in a Workers’ Comp Claim
The core benefits of workers’ compensation are payments for necessary medical treatments and wage replacement benefits when a worker is too injured to return to work within a brief amount of time. Both of these benefits are sharply dependent on the specifics of each individual case.
The medical benefits you need to recover properly from your workplace injuries will reflect those injuries. If you suffered a broken leg, for example, then you will obviously need more medical care than an employee who only had a sprained ankle. The amount of money you need in a settlement will be much higher due to the nature of the necessary treatments.
Also, the wages you earn in an average week act as the baseline of your wage replacement benefits. The more you are paid regularly, the more you can be paid through workers’ compensation. There is also no guarantee that you will be eligible for wage replacement through your claim. In many states, an injured worker must miss a week’s worth of scheduled shifts before becoming eligible to get weekly or biweekly checks.
Impairment Ratings Among Injured Workers
When a worker is severely injured, they might become medically disabled, as determined by their medical providers. At that point, the worker might be unable to return to work in any capacity or only at a reduced or different capacity. Short-term or long-term disability benefits can be provided, which may last for months or years.
The disability payments provided will be largely based on the worker’s disability rating, which is reflected as a percentage. A 100% disability rating is considered to be totally and – likely – permanently disabled. 99% and below are considered to be partially disabled, which could be temporarily or permanently. Disability payments owed to a worker can also greatly change how much money that worker should be paid when negotiating a settlement amount.
Negotiating for a Better Settlement
As an injured worker who needs workers’ compensation benefits, one of the worst things you can do is assume the value of your own case. In doing so, you could be selling yourself short of valuable financial aid that can be secured in a negotiation.
To get an understanding of what your claim could be worth, and to find a way to negotiate for that amount in a settlement, then you should rely on a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you. Here in Modesto, people count on Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC to be there for them after a workplace injury sets them back and takes them off their feet. We would be happy to discuss your case at no cost to you. Just dial (916) 884-6554 and plan a free consultation.