How Much Will I Get for a Workers’ Comp Settlement?
There are many factors that go into coming up with a fair settlement for an injured worker seeking workers’ comp benefits. They are driven by the facts of the situation (including the extent of the injuries and whether they’re temporary or permanent) and Indiana law. One of Coriden Glover’s workers’ comp lawyers can work with you to obtain the best outcome possible.
Like most states, Indiana has a private insurance workers’ comp system. Employers are required to carry insurance to cover potential liability for injuries 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.
Payment for workers’ comp claims normally include two-thirds of the worker’s wages if the person can’t work, in addition to the medical and rehabilitation expenses related to the injury, including hospital bills, prescription drug costs as well as repaying costs of travel to and from medical facilities.
Another thing impacting the value of a workers’ compensation claim is whether or not the employee is able to work a less demanding position. This results in lower pay and partial benefits. If the person is permanently disabled, partially or completely, there would be compensation for that lost work capacity.
Workers’ Comp Settlements: Lump Sum or Not?
When we 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 workers’ comp laws and any applicable restrictions.
If you’re getting permanent workers’ compensation disability benefits, you can request from the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board that you be paid in a lump sum (known as a “commutation”). Generally, settlements are in a lump sum, but they can also be structured so you receive payments over time. This may be worth considering if, as a result of your injuries, you won’t be able to work again.
If you’re 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 workers, comp board decides it’s 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.
- What won’t be included in your settlement is compensation for pain and suffering, because these non-economic damages aren’t allowed under Indiana workers’ comp law.
- If you obtain a lump sum payment, you normally need to give up any rights you have to future workers’ 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 workers’ comp system.
If your workers’ comp claim is accepted by the insurance company, you and it may enter into a Form 1023 Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer. It spells out which benefits you’re entitled to and how much you’ll receive. Benefits can be paid on a weekly, biweekly or lump sum basis. This isn’t 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.
Get Help with Your Workers’ Comp Claim and Settlement
The workers’ compensation claims process can seem intimidating if you’ve never experienced it before, but many people go through it every day. Our experience at Coriden Glover is an important asset to our clients, and we can provide you knowledgeable and skilled representation in all stages of a dispute. You won’t be going through the process alone. We’re 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’re an employer or employee, a workers’ compensation dispute might seem like an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of a workers’ compensation attorney, you can be sure that your interests are being represented. Fill out our online contact hor call us at 866-375-9800 today.