If you are injured at work, you are probably covered through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. You have the right to make a claim to help cover your medical bills and receive compensation if you can’t return to work for a certain period of time.
Many injured workers wonder just how much they can expect from their workers’ compensation claims. The answer depends on your injuries, what the insurance company offers, and whether or not you use the services of a workers compensation lawyer.
Here’s what you need to know about what you can expect from your claim.
How are Workers’ Compensation Claims Paid?
Most workers who make workers comp claims receive some sort of payout—but the amounts can vary. You will typically either receive compensation through:
- A settlement you and the insurance company have agreed to for your claim or
- An award ordered by a workers comp judge during a hearing
You are legally entitled to access workers’ compensation benefits if you’re hurt at work. However, workers comp is provided by an insurance company, and insurers do not like paying out much on claims. They may offer you much less than you deserve in their first offer, and you and your workers’ compensation lawyer may need to negotiate for a fair settlement amount.
If you and the insurance company cannot reach an agreement on a settlement, you may need to schedule a hearing before a judge. You might be able to get what you deserve from the hearing, but you also run the risk of getting a much smaller award based on what the judge decides.
If you are unhappy with the judge’s decision, you may have the option to appeal to the Board’s Appellate Division.
Can I Receive Benefits for Not Being Able to Work?
Yes. If your work injury prevents you from returning to work for at least seven days, you have the right to receive weekly payments at two-thirds of your regular average weekly wage. However, this amount caps at $575 per week.
You may be able to receive these benefits for up to 400 weeks, but it depends on how serious your injuries are and your degree of disability. Most workers’ compensation settlement or awards are given for those who are permanently disabled—meaning they can no longer work at all because of their injuries.
If you have a temporary disability, you can receive weekly workers comp payments during the time you need to miss work while you’re recovering. Your coverage should also directly pay for your medical costs while your claim is in progress.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive from My Workers’ Comp Claim?
Research shows the average workers’ compensation for injuries is around $21,800. However, the exact amount varies per person, and in some cases, a settlement can be much higher.
The best way to know for sure how much you can expect from your claim is by talking to an experienced workers compensation lawyer. Your lawyer can evaluate:
- The seriousness of your injuries
- The degree to which they prevent you from working
- Whether or not the insurance company’s offer is fair to you
Workers’ compensation policies have a pretty bad reputation of paying out low amounts to injured workers. Having legal assistance from a lawyer gives you the best chance of a settlement that will actually compensate you fairly for your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
When looking at how much you can expect to receive, you’ll need to consider any weekly disability payments as well as a settlement or award you might receive. You and your lawyer will need to consider the full costs of your work injuries and how they will affect your life—currently and in the future. Then, you can get a clear picture of what compensation you will need.
Filing an Appeal Can Increase Your Settlement
Besides having a lawyer, appealing the initial offer with the State Board of Workers Compensation or requesting a workers comp hearing plays a big part in what you can expect from your claim. Most workers who settle their claims without trying to seek a higher settlement obviously left with a lower amount of money than those who appealed their first offer.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you know what to expect from your workers’ compensation claim based on the details of your injuries. Our workers’ compensation lawyers can also help you appeal and negotiate for a higher settlement or request a hearing to pursue the money you deserve.
Don’t try to handle your case alone. We can help. Call today and schedule a FREE, no-risk consultation to go over your options and how we can assist you. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started today.