How much money should you expect from a workers’ compensation settlement? There are many factors that will determine the answer. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurer may offer a settlement based on what they think is fair to cover your medical bills and any disabilities caused by a work-related injury or illness. You may be tempted to just take whatever they offer. After all, the workers’ compensation process is a hassle. The last thing you need is more stress in your life when you need to focus on your recovery. But the fact is you have the right to seek a better deal if the settlement offer is inadequate. A workers’ comp attorney will help you determine exactly how much you qualify for and negotiate a fairer settlement. You deserve to be adequately compensated in your workers’ injury settlement.
Medical Benefits in a Workers’ Comp CaseThe amount of medical benefits you’re entitled to depends on the nature and extent of your injuries. According to the Missouri Department of Labor, there are many questions that must be addressed before you can accept workers’ comp a settlement offer for medical benefits:
- How much are your out-of-pocket medical expenses?
- Have all of your medical expenses been paid?
- Do you have ongoing medical expenses? These include prescriptions, orthotics, prosthetics or other medical devices.
- Have you incurred any travel expenses related to treatment of your injuries?
- Will the settlement affect other benefits such as Social Security, Medicare or unemployment?
- If your injuries were caused by an auto accident and you are suing the at-fault driver for liability, how will that affect your settlement?
Disability Benefits in a Workers’ Comp CaseYou may qualify for additional compensation if your injuries leave you with either temporary or permanent disabilities. There are several issues to address when determining a fair disability settlement:
- Appropriate payments for time off work during recovery
- Whether you are able to return to work during recovery
- Whether you are ever able to work again
- The types of work you are able to do, if at all
- Whether you qualify for benefits from the Second Injury Fund
- How a settlement would affect other benefits, including Social Security, Medicare or unemployment
- Whether accurate wage information was used in calculations
- If you miss work for more than three days because of a workplace injury, you are eligible for temporary total disability, which is 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum established by law.
- If the doctor determines that you are able to return to work before reaching maximum medical improvement, you may qualify for temporary partial disability. During this time your employer may assign you to light duty or modified responsibilities, often for lower pay.
- Temporary partial disability is calculated as 66 ⅔% of the difference between your pre-injury wages and the amount you earn during the disability period.
- Permanent partial disability means you are able to work at some jobs but not others.
- Payments will equal 66 ⅔% of your average weekly earnings on the date of your injury, not to exceed a maximum set by law.
- Permanent total disability means you are no longer able to work at any job and may receive weekly payments for life. Payments will equal 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wage at the time of injury, up to a limit set by law.
About the Author
When it comes to workers’ compensation cases, Randy Alberhasky has over 25 years of experience. During his legal career he has personally tried over 200 workers’ compensation hearings and jury trials in courts throughout the State of Missouri. Many people who have suffered from a workplace injury and illness are unaware of the legal action they can take to receive the financial compensation that they’re entitled to. The Alberhasky Law Firm, P.C. is proud to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve.