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How Much Can You Get for a Workers’ Comp Settlement?

How Much Can You Get for a Workers' Comp Settlement
How Much Can You Get for a Workers' Comp Settlement

Workers’ compensation in Florida is an insurance program that covers workers’ medical, rehabilitation, and income losses after an on-the-job injury or illness. While the program is designed to benefit these people, many claims are denied, or workers do not receive the full payment they deserve.

In other situations, benefits are delayed, causing financial hardships for injured workers and their families. These are just a few issues that law firms deal with on behalf of their clients. Besides potential complications, attorneys are often asked questions about the legal process and other things related to workers’ compensation.

These questions are common because the benefits are crucial for workers recovering from an injury and unable to work. Because of this, workers’ compensation lawyers often hear the question, “How much will I get from my workers’ compensation settlement?”

Benefits Provided by Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The Florida Workers’ Compensation Act gives workers several rights and benefits. The Act ensures the efficient and quick delivery of medical and disability benefits to injured workers. It is also designed to help workers return to work without excess costs to their employer.

The Act also provides payments to accommodate lost income from their first employment day. It gives workers free medical care and compensation for permanent injuries or disfigurements. This benefit is provided even if the injury or illness occurred beyond the worker’s typical job functions.

Another important part of workers’ compensation benefits is that they are available even if the employer was not at fault or negligent. Even in cases where the injury was the worker’s fault, they may still receive compensation. For workers killed on the job, their spouse or children may be entitled to death benefits from the workers’ compensation program.

Factors That Impact the Amount of Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Several factors impact the amount of your workers’ compensation settlement. These include the following:

Severity of Injury

The severity and nature of your injury are critical in determining your workers’ compensation settlement in Florida. More severe injuries typically result in higher settlements due to increased medical expenses and longer recovery periods. For instance, a spinal injury leading to paralysis will likely yield a higher settlement than a minor wrist sprain.

Medical Expenses and Future Care

Your current and future medical expenses impact your settlement. This includes hospital bills, medication costs, and expenses for ongoing treatments like physical therapy. In Florida, the compensation should cover all necessary medical care directly related to your workplace injury.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

Workers’ compensation in Florida also considers lost wages. If your injury prevents you from working, either temporarily or permanently, this loss of income is factored into the settlement. Additionally, if your injury results in a reduced capacity to earn in the future, this potential loss is also considered.

Degree of Impairment Considerations

When determining how long you receive workers’ compensation benefits, the “Degree of Impairment” is considered. This determines your permanent impairment rating (if present) and how many weeks of benefits you are entitled to. In Florida, the following applies:

Permanent Impairment Rating Total Weeks of Benefits
1% to 10% Two weeks of pay for every percentage point (e.g., 5% = 10 weeks of pay)
11% to 15% Three weeks of pay for every percentage point (e.g., 12% = 36 weeks of pay)
16% to 20% Four weeks of pay for every percentage point (e.g., 18% = 72 weeks of pay)
21% or more Six weeks of pay for every percentage point (e.g., 30% = 180 weeks of pay)

After reaching MMI – maximum medical improvement – which is when your medical condition will no longer improve, if you are still disabled and if a doctor has given you an impairment rating (mentioned above), you can receive pay for the specified number of weeks based on the impairment rating you receive.

When receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your medical bills are paid and you could receive full or partial disability benefits. These may be temporary or permanent.

The benefits for the following ratings apply:

Permanent Total Disability

You will receive two-thirds of your pre-injury income up to the maximum limit, which is $1197 as of January 1, 2023, for the remainder of your life.

Permanent Partial Impairment

If your doctor assigns you this rating, you will likely only receive payments for a set amount of time. These benefits will not be over 75% of the State maximum, and your impairment rating determines the number of weeks you receive payment. If you earn pre-injury wages or more, your benefit period is reduced by half.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for the Loss of a Body Part

If you lose a body part due to an on-the-job illness or accident, you will receive compensation based on what part it is. The more important the body part was to “life,” the more it is worth according to the law. For example, if you lose an index finger, the maximum compensation is $14,525; however, the loss of an arm results in a maximum compensation of $186,293.

Steps to Take if You Are Injured on the Job

The steps you take after being injured on the job can impact your benefits. After an accident, do the following:

Report the Injury Immediately

Report your accident and injury immediately to your employer. In Florida, there are strict timelines for reporting workplace injuries, typically within 30 days. Delay in reporting can jeopardize your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

Seek Medical Attention

Prioritize your health by seeking immediate medical attention. This step is not just vital for your well-being but also serves as documentation of your injury, which is essential for your workers’ compensation claim. In Florida, your employer may have a preferred medical provider for workplace injuries.

Document Everything

Keep detailed records of everything related to your injury and the incident. This includes medical reports, dates of doctor’s visits, a record of symptoms, and any communication with your employer about the injury. Accurate documentation is key to a smooth workers’ compensation claim process.

File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

File a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. In Florida, your employer should provide you with the necessary forms and guide you through the process. Ensure all the information is accurate and submitted within the required timeframes.

Consult with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Consider consulting with a workers’ comp lawyer, especially if your case is complex or if you face challenges in the claim process. A lawyer can provide valuable guidance, help protect your rights, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injury.

Understanding How Much Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement Is Worth

Being injured on the job can reuslt in serious injuries that impact your life now and in the future. In these cases, receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve is necessary.

While navigating the legal process can be challenging, our experienced workers’ comp lawyer is here to help. Call our office today to discuss your legal rights and options.

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