How Much Will I Get for a Worker’s Comp Settlement?
There are many factors that go into determining how much you will get for a worker’s comp settlement, including the extent of your injuries, whether they are temporary or permanent, and Indiana law. In general, if you are unable to work for more than a week, you may receive compensation for your lost wages that is equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages, plus payment for the costs of your medical care.
Workplace injuries may be serious and life-changing, and if you have been injured on the job, it can help to have one of Coriden & Coriden’s worker’s comp lawyers work with you to make sure you obtain the best worker’s comp settlement possible. Our lawyers can guide you from the start. We will:
- Make sure you know what to say and do after an injury.
- Make sure all forms are filled out correctly and in a timely manner to help prevent denials.
- Gather evidence and documentation to help prove your claim.
- Negotiate with insurance companies, who want to pay out as little as possible.
- Support you through the Worker’s Compensation Board’s Informal Dispute Resolution process.
- Represent you at hearings in front of single members or the full Worker’s Compensation Board.
- If needed, appeal your case at the state Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of Indiana.
We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and show you how we can help. Call Coriden & Coriden, LLC today to get started at 812-375-9800.
Factors That Determine How Much for a Worker’s Compensation Settlement
Under the Indiana worker’s Compensation Act, employers are required to carry insurance to cover potential liability for injuries and illnesses suffered by workers in the course and scope of their job. A small number of employers are “self-insured,” because they received approval from the Worker’s Compensation Board to pay claims out of their own funds.
Under worker’s comp, injured workers receive benefits regardless of who was at fault in the workplace accident. Factors that determine what benefits you may receive include:
- Your wages — payment is typically two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the past 52 weeks, but not more than the statutory maximum outlined here.
- Medical expenses related to the injury, including hospital bills, prescription drug costs, rehabilitation and costs of travel to and from medical facilities.
- Payment for permanent partial impairment (PPI).
If you are permanently disabled, partially or completely, you may receive additional compensation depending on the severity of your loss, your permanent impairment rating, and how the injury occurred.
If you are able to return to work in a less demanding position, your benefits will be reduced and you will receive lower pay and partial benefits.
If a work-related injury results in a death, there are death benefits paid to your dependents.
How Much Can I Get for a Worker’s Comp Settlement: Lump Sum or Not?
If you sustain an injury in a workplace accident that results in a permanent disability, you are entitled to receive a worker’s compensation settlement based on the severity of the impairment. Generally, settlements are in a lump sum, but they can also be structured so you receive continuing payments over time. This may be worth considering if, as a result of your injuries, you won’t be able to work again. Deciding which to take depends on your individual situation and the factors involved.
When our lawyers work with our clients to come up with a fair settlement demand, we consider several issues, including …
- Unpaid balances on hospital bills, ambulance use, rehabilitation, etc.
- The likelihood of future medical treatments, surgeries and rehabilitation
- Lost wages and expected future wage losses
- Disability payments from Social Security and private insurance
- Attorney fees
- The provisions of Indiana’s worker’s comp laws and any applicable restrictions.
Lump Sum Payment in a Worker’s Compensation Settlement
If you are getting permanent worker’s compensation disability benefits, you can request payment in a lump sum (known as a “commutation”).
If you are totally disabled, you need to wait at least six months from the onset of your disability before asking for this lump sum. There are no time limits on asking for a lump sum if you’re partially disabled. The request should be approved if the worker’s comp board decides it is in all the parties’ best interests.
If your lump sum settlement request is approved …
- The total benefits will be reduced to their present value. This is based on the assumption that a dollar you receive now has more value than one you get in the future.
- Compensation for pain and suffering is not allowed under Indiana worker’s comp law.
- If you obtain a lump sum payment, you normally need to give up any rights you have to future worker’s comp benefits, including medical treatment, disability payments and vocational rehabilitation. This needs to be taken very seriously. If your injury or illness worsens, you would have no recourse through the worker’s comp system.
A Settlement Structured on Continuing Payments
If your worker’s comp claim is accepted by the insurance company, you and the company may enter into a Form 1043 Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer. This spells out which benefits you are entitled to and how much you will receive. Benefits can be paid on a weekly, biweekly or lump sum basis. This is not a full and final settlement. You still have rights to medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation. If your condition doesn’t improve or gets worse, you can ask for more compensation.
Call Coriden & Coriden, LLC today to help you make the decision that is best for you at 866-375-9800.
Going Beyond a Worker’s Comp Settlement
worker’s compensation has its limitations, as the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act does not provide compensation for non-economic damages such as for pain and suffering. In some situations, you may be entitled to file a separate personal injury lawsuit in civil court against a third party whose negligence or wrongdoing caused your injuries and seek additional damages. An example of such a situation is if you were injured when an outside party caused a vehicle crash while you were working on the job.
If your employer does not subscribe to worker’s compensation, or if you are considered an independent contractor, you are not covered by the Worker’s Compensation Act. A personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate in these situations as well.
If your attorney can prove that another party’s negligence, fault, or wrongdoing caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, you may receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering.
Damage awards for pain and suffering are determined by a jury based on the severity of the injuries and may be substantial.
In addition, you may also file a lawsuit for:
- Denied coverage – If employers deny coverage claiming you are an independent contractor and this is a misclassification.
- Retaliation – If you were fired from a job because you filed for or received worker’s compensation benefits.
Get Help with Your Worker’s Comp Claim and Settlement
The worker’s compensation claims process can seem intimidating, but the attorneys at Coriden & Coriden, LLC can provide you knowledgeable and skilled representation in all stages of a dispute. We are here to educate you about the process, guide your claim through the process, and put up a fight for you if it becomes necessary.
Whether you are an employer or employee, our worker’s compensation attorney can help determine how much you can get in a worker’s comp settlement. When you work with us, you can be sure that your interests are being represented. Call us at 866-375-9800 today.
Attorney Terry Coriden
Terry Coriden practices worker’s compensation law as a Partner at Coriden & Coriden, LLC. His entire professional career as an attorney has been committed to worker’s compensation law and making a difference in his community. He is also highly experienced in mediation. Terry is a member and past president of the Bartholomew County Bar Association, a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, and a former board member of the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (ICLEF). [ Attorney Bio ]