When you get injured on the job, workers’ compensation programs are supposed to protect you. They’re there to cover the medical costs of your injuries, as well as a portion of your lost wages, so you can continue to make ends meet after an unexpected accident.
When people turn to a workplace injury attorney for help, the first thing they usually ask is, “What is my case worth?” Since every injury and accident are unique, it can be difficult to know what losses you can recover through workers’ comp. Our team of attorneys at Lewis & Keller are here to help!
Keep reading to learn what the average settlement for your workers’ comp claim in Winston-Salem is and how you can find out how much your specific case may be worth.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Workers’ Comp Claim?
It’s impossible to give a helpful average figure for workers’ comp settlements since settlement amounts vary depending on the circumstances of the accident and injuries. Some cases may be worth around a thousand dollars, while others can be worth tens of thousands or more. The amount will depend on a wide range of factors, which we will dive into below.
Keep in mind, we can’t really determine what your settlement might be worth without a detailed case review. At Lewis & Keller, we are known for being champions for every client, and we can help guide you through what to expect from your case.
Understanding How Workers’ Comp Settlements Are Valued
Many different factors contribute to finding how much your workers’ compensation case will be worth. Your attorney will take several factors into account when valuing your case. These include:
- Your age
- How severe your injury and any associated disability are
- Whether your disability is temporary or permanent
- The cost of your past and current medical bills
- The value of your future medical bills
- How much you were earning at the time of your injury
- Your past earnings history
- Your medical records
- Although pain and suffering is not a compensable element of a workers’ comp claim, other evidence, such as journal entries or family witnesses that demonstrate the emotional and mental losses you have faced could also be helpful.
We always recommend having an experienced lawyer look over your case to make sure you are not missing out on any compensation you have a right to seek.
Are Workers’ Comp Payments Ongoing?
This is where things get tricky. If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, your medical bills should be paid by workers’ comp as they are incurred. That, however, is not a settlement. A settlement usually happens if you end up having to sue for benefits you have been denied, or because you think you deserve more benefits. In a compensable claim, a settlement could happen at any time, but usually closer to the end of your medical treatment.
In this case, if we win your lawsuit, the settlement you get will be a single lump sum, and not in the form of ongoing payments. After we establish the initial value, we will go through a period of negotiation with the insurance company to come to an agreement that works for everyone. We are a champion for every client!
What Benefits Can I Get with Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation covers very specific issues when you get hurt on the job. The first is medical benefits. Medical benefits cover all of your doctor’s visits, any test diagnostics, hospitalizations, medical procedures like therapy and surgery, medications, and other costs. Medical coverage continues until you reach a state of “maximum medical improvement,” or MMI, which means your doctor says you have healed as much as possible.
Next is wage replacement. Workers’ compensation may cover a portion of your normal income, not your full wages. The amount you receive is based on whether your injury is total or partial and permanent or temporary. Total disability means that you are unable to perform any of your job responsibilities, while partial means that you are limited from performing some of your usual work duties. You will receive more wage compensation if your injury causes a permanent total disability than if it causes a partial disability.
Finally, your benefits cover rehabilitation. This means that if you need physical therapy to get back up and running at your former job, or if you need training to do a different job, workers’ comp covers those costs.
Alternatively, if the injury is catastrophic and results in death, the surviving dependents of the worker can seek death and burial benefits covering medical bills, burial costs, and part of the wages of the deceased.
Should I Accept a Settlement?
The end goal of workers’ comp is to cover the costs and losses you have faced. If you and your attorney get your claim approved for ongoing benefits, receiving workers’ compensation payments may be the easier and better solution until your case has progressed to the point of MMI. If you are unable to get your claim approved, a settlement is an alternative option.
Several factors must fall in line to get your work injury settlement. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurer, and you will both have to agree to the total. Once a settlement amount is reached, your attorney will submit the agreement to the Industrial Commission for approval.
The best way to determine whether you should accept a settlement and ensure your best chance at receiving that settlement is to sit down with a qualified workers’ comp lawyer and discuss your case.
Don’t Believe the Insurance Company. Get the Legal Advice You Deserve.
The insurance company will be very quick to offer up information on average settlements and what they think your case is worth. Don’t talk to them, don’t sign any papers, and don’t accept initial offers. Their job is to get you to accept as little as possible.
Instead, get a workers’ compensation attorney who will treat you like family and protect your interests. At Lewis & Keller, our team is known for being a champion for every client. Our workers’ comp legal team has a track record of success, and we will always do everything we can to get the results you deserve. Contact us today at 877-674-5047, or fill out our online form, to get your free case review.