If you have been injured on the job, a workers’ comp attorney can help you determine how much you should get for a workers’ comp settlement and fight for the maximum settlement amount.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program intended to provide medical, rehabilitation and income benefits for workplace-related injuries and illnesses, but far too often workers get denied the full payment they deserve. Because these benefits are so crucial for injured workers at a time they are suffering and cannot work, it’s natural for our attorneys to hear the question, “How much will I get for a workers’ comp settlement?”
Workers’ comp premiums are paid by employers, and since premiums go up when benefits are paid out, employers often try to avoid paying out claims. Workers’ compensation insurance companies are concerned with profit and their bottom line, so they do what they can to pay out as little as possible. Employers and their insurance carriers have high-powered lawyers on their side, working to deny, dispute, and lessen benefits. In addition, Florida rules and procedures for getting workers’ comp are complicated, and making mistakes in filing your claim or saying or doing the wrong thing can result in your claim being rejected.
Fortunately, you do not have to deal with insurance companies and fight for a workers’ comp settlement alone. If you have been injured on the job, the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the Feldman Legal Group are available to examine your individual situation, determine the settlement amount you deserve, and fight to maximize your benefits or negotiate a higher lump sum settlement of your workers’ compensation case.
To speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney and get an estimate of what your case may be worth, call us today at 877-946-8293
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Get the Maximum Benefit Settlement
Getting the workers’ comp settlement you deserve requires knowledge of the system and the tactics employers and insurance companies use to avoid paying.
When you have Feldman Legal on your side to help you get benefits, our workers’ comp lawyers will:
- Make sure you know what to say and do after you are injured so you meet Florida workers’ comp requirements and don’t hurt your case
- Make sure all forms are filled out correctly, in a timely manner, and according to Florida law
- Help you find appropriate medical care and treatment
- Help you document your injuries and how they affect your life
- Investigate how the accident happened, by interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence to help prove your claim
- Obtain all relevant work and medical records
- Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Represent you at any hearings
- File a lawsuit in cases where it is appropriate
- Prepare your case and argue on your behalf if a claim goes to trial
- Take care of any appeals.
Call us at 877-946-8293 to speak to our workers’ comp lawyers today.
How Much Will I Get for a Workers’ Comp Settlement?– FAQs
It’s natural to worry about how much you will get for a workers’ comp settlement. Our attorneys answer frequently asked questions that can help you get an idea of what you deserve:
What rights and benefits am I entitled to under Florida workers’ compensation?
The Florida Workers’ Compensation Act (chapter 440) provides injured workers with many important rights and benefits. The intent of the Act is to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured worker and to facilitate the worker’s return to work at a reasonable cost to the employer. The Act provides payments to make up for lost income on the very first day of employment. It provides you with free medical care and additional compensation for permanent injury or disfigurement. This is true even if the injury or illness occurred outside of your normal job functions.
You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even in the absence of your employer’s fault or negligence. In fact, if the injury was your fault, you may still be eligible for compensation. If a loved one was killed in a workplace accident, dependent spouses and children are also entitled to workers’ comp death benefits.
Individual workers’ compensation settlements vary according to the degree of injury, extent of disability, and other factors, including the ability of your attorney. Our workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue all benefits you are entitled to under the law, including:
- Compensation for permanent disability
- Lost wages or salary
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Retraining costs
- Dependents’ recovery for a worker’s death.
What wage benefits can I get?
In Florida, benefits for lost wages may fall under the following categories:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – You may receive 66-2/3% of your regular wages at the time you were hurt, subject to a statewide maximum reimbursement amount. There are no benefits for the first 7 days of disability, unless you are disabled more than 21 days as determined by the authorized doctor. Some severe injuries may entitle you to 80% of your regular wages for up to 6 months after the accident.
Temporary Partial disability (TP) – For situations where you can return to work with restrictions, you may be eligible to receive Temporary Partial Disability Benefits if you are unable to earn 80% of the wages you were earning at the time of your accident.
Impairment Benefits (IB) – If a doctor finds you at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), you may be evaluated for possible permanent work restrictions and an impairment rating and will receive money based on that rating.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) – If after reaching Maximum Medical Improvement you are left permanently unable to work, you may receive permanent total disability benefits based on your rating.
What medical benefits can I receive?
According to the Florida division of workers’ compensation, medical benefits you may receive include:
- An authorized primary doctor and specialist(s) when medically necessary
- All authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury such as:
- doctor’s visits
- physical therapy
- medical tests
- prescription drugs
- attendant care
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from your authorized doctor and the pharmacy.
What should I do if injured on the job?
If you are injured on the job, you should immediately seek an evaluation and pursue treatment recommended by your workers’ comp doctor. Go to the emergency room and tell them that you suffered a workplace injury. If your injury is not an emergency situation, you must select an initial physician approved and covered by your workers’ compensation insurance plan. If your employer has a managed care arrangement (MCA), you are limited to a preselected group of medical providers and care facilities.
Then take the following steps:
- Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Workers’ comp claims must be reported within 30 days of the initial injury.
- Request a notice of injury form (DWC-1). This form is provided by your employer, who must fill out the top section and send the form to the insurance carrier.
- Get names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Take notes on everything your employer says to you, and document your injuries, how you feel, and any expenses you have relating to the injury.
- Do not give any recorded statements to the insurance carrier, who can use what you say against you. Tell them to speak to your lawyer.
- Contact our firm to get help from the start and prevent making mistakes.
What if a workplace injury leads to death?
If a work-related death occurs within one year of the date of accident or five years of continuous disability, family members may receive the following benefits, up to a maximum of $150,000:
- Funeral expenses up to $7,500
- Compensation to dependents, as defined by law
- Educational benefits to the surviving spouse.
What happens when I reach MMI?
When you are at maximum medical improvement (MMI) – when a physician decides that nothing further can be done to improve your condition — the doctor will then reevaluate you. The end diagnosis and permanent impairment rating (PIR) are very important to your worker’s compensation settlement. If your injury is serious enough that you can no longer work, you can receive life-long benefits and medical treatment for injuries sustained in work-related injuries or illnesses if this is the major contributing cause of the need for care and treatment.
There are legal steps you can take after you reach MMI, so it is important to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to learn about your rights.
There are certain types of workplace injuries that are automatically considered permanent and total, according to U.S. law. These injuries (such as a catastrophic brain or spinal cord injury or loss of an arm, leg, or hand) bring significant, far-reaching changes to the victim’s life. There are many other injuries that may also qualify for permanent total disability benefits. These include severe burns or any condition that renders the worker unable to function in pursuit of gainful employment.
Our attorneys will fight to keep your benefits from being unfairly slashed, reduced or terminated after the insurance-approved doctor says you have reached MMI.
How Much Can I Get From Negotiated Workers’ Compensation Settlements?
If you are found to have a permanent and total disability, you can qualify for lifetime payments or a lump sum settlement. These benefits are designed to cover two-thirds of your average weekly wage. There is a cap to these weekly benefits, as shown on the Florida Department of Financial Services website. Florida workers currently receive a maximum of $917 per week for temporary disability, and permanently injured workers receive 75% of this figure.
Most insurance companies seek to settle these types of cases with a lump sum, or you can negotiate another type of structured settlement, such as a single payment every year. A workers’ comp settlement, which is considered full and final, will take into account any and all evidence that demonstrates:
- The severity of your injury
- Anticipated out-of-pocket medical costs
- Your wages prior to injury
- Your ability to pursue gainful employment.
This is why choosing the right attorney can be paramount to the outcome of your case.
Florida’s Permanent Impairment Ratings
There is a Florida Workers’ Comp Settlement Chart that calculates benefits and the number of weeks they will be paid based on your impairment rating.
Fortunately, most injured workers are not permanently and totally disabled. Many are partially permanently disabled (PPD), however, which qualifies them for a workers’ compensation settlement. In Florida, you can be assigned anywhere from a 1% permanent impairment rating (PIR) all the way up to a 100% impairment for permanent total disability.
When your doctor assigns you a PIR, the rating is used to calculate benefits, with the degree of impairment corresponding to number of weeks benefits are paid. The impairment rating percentages break down as shown in the table below.
WORKERS' COMP IMPAIRMENT RATING PERCENTAGES/
Degree of Impairment
Weeks Paid (per point)
1 to 10%
11 to 15%
16 to 20%
21% or more
Calculations are tiered, so, for example, you would receive 20 weeks’ pay for the first 10% impairment, another 15 weeks for 15%, and 20 weeks more if you are impaired 20%. A 30% impairment would come out to 105 weeks in total.
Permanent wage benefits are calculated at 75% of what you receive while you are considered temporarily disabled. So, if you received $780 a week in total temporary benefits, you would qualify for $585 a week for permanent benefits. In our example of 30% impairment, it would be 105 weeks multiplied by $585 a week, or $61,425. A 100% impairment would obviously yield a much higher settlement.
Workers’ Comp Settlement Body Part Prices
Workers’ compensation puts a value on body parts and makes settlement awards according to the degree of impairment.
Most states have a “schedule of injuries” that assigns a monetary value for the loss of use of a body part or sensory function, such as hearing or vision. Victims then receive a designated award according to their injury.
Although Florida does not provide a scheduled loss award list, victims who suffer a catastrophic, work-related loss are generally fairly compensated according to their degree of impairment.
Propublica.org published a study showing the average “values” for various body parts in 2015. According to the study, the following workers’ compensation values were determined to be average for the United States and the state of Florida in 2015:
AVE VALUE OF BODY PARTS FOR WORKERS' COMP/
Get Legal Help for a Favorable Workers’ Comp Settlement
If you are wondering, “How much will I get for a workers’ comp settlement?” or “What is my worker’s compensation case worth?” the workers’ compensation attorneys at the Feldman Legal Group can help you with all aspects of your case, from filing your claim to negotiating your maximum possible settlement.
Attorney Feldman has handled thousands of workers’ compensation cases, dating back to 1996, and he knows the complex legal framework that governs these claims. His many years of experience defending insurance companies before the OJCC in multiple geographic regions gives him and the firm valuable insight into the workers’ compensation system — as well as an understanding of the tactics insurance companies use to minimize benefits. If you need help with a workers’ comp case, please call the Feldman Legal Group at 877-946-8293 today.