Work Injury – What is My Workers Comp Case Worth? How Much Will I Get?

December 5  

How Much Money Will I Get In My Workers Comp Case?

These are the information you need to know if you've been involved in a work injury. It's a common question I get a lot. The questions are: 

"What am I going to get in the settlement?"
"Is it going to be worthwhile?"
"What's my case worth?"

To answer that I'm trying to keep it short and simple. I have other videos on my YouTube channel that go into a lot more detail about how you calculate this stuff and I'm also happy to explain it to you.

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Case Worth

So what's the case worth? In workers comp here's how it works. Everything's based on what you earn. A guy who earns twice as much money per hour as another guy can expect to get about twice as much money at the end of the case in a lump sum settlement. And that's just the way the system is set up.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

The typical things people get in a worker's comp case is two-thirds of your salary while you're off work with a doctor's note for injuries that you suffered at work. You get all of your doctor bills paid and then at the end of the case you get something called PPD which stands for permanent partial disability. That's a lump sum of money that represents the difference in your body.

So in workers comp you don't get money for things like pain and suffering or stuff like that, that you'd get in a car accident case. In workers comp, literally what they do is, they take 60% of your salary and then they take the diagnosis and treatment you got for your injury and they compare it to other cases that already settled. And what they do is for each body part, there's a chart that says how many weeks of work that body part is worth? 

Similar Injuries

I know this is getting complicated. But what happens is you look up the body part or body parts. Figure out the range of what comparable and similar injuries have gotten in the past and then you get the number of weeks that injury is worth and multiply it to the 60% of your hourly rate. In other words your average weekly wage is, if 60% of your income is 200 bucks and similar cases have settled for 40 weeks. 200 multiplied by 40 is 8 grand. That gives you some idea.

Now it's not set in stone like that like different cases say injuries are worth more and other ones say it's worth less. And that's what the dispute is in a lot of these cases when we're trying to settle them. Obviously, the insurance company wants to compare your work injury to another one where somebody wasn't hurt as badly as you do, and I want to maximize the value of the case.

So that's how we calculate it.

Lawyer Needs To Know Everything

The reason I go into that detail is, you can never just call a lawyer and say "I hurt my neck, what's my case worth?". The lawyer needs to know where you work, what your work duties are, if you're done going to the doctor what your ongoing disabilities are? How much money do you make per hour or per week? Whether you were able to return to work full duty, whether the medical bills are paid, whether the employee owes you back pay. It's not just a lawyer's trick when I tell you "how much is my case worth" is a bit of a more of a complicated question.

Leave Medical Open

That is if the case is a basic simple injury case at work. If it involves a case where you're permanently disabled, like you can never work again. Then you're going to be entitled to payments for the rest of your life or a lump sum of money to pay you for that. And also the possibility if we go to trial, we can leave your medical open. Leaving your medical open means that if you're permanently injured and you're going to need medical treatment monthly, weekly or daily for the rest of your life, the worker's comp insurance is always going to be on the hook for it.

Other Remedies

There are other things you can get in workers comp too, like vocational training. You can get retraining for a different job, there's other remedies. Again, I hate answering questions like this because it makes me feel like I'm being a lawyer when ultimately I see myself as a human being first. But I would love to say "Well in workers comp, a neck injury is worth 50 grand, a back injury is worth a hundred grand, a broken leg is worth 80 grand." I'd love to be able just to give you a quick answer like that.

Understand The Basics

The reason I'm explaining it to you is because I want you to understand it. Because if you ultimately are going to try and settle the case yourself with the insurance company or if you hire a lawyer. A lot of lawyers don't explain things in as much detail as I do. So it's gonna be easy for you and your lawyer to you know to misunderstand each other a bit. If they're just saying "Oh well it's a good deal, take the deal" but they don't tell you how they got to the numbers. I have friends, other friends who do injury work and they don't like explaining this stuff to their clients. But I like to do it because I don't see any reason everybody shouldn't understand the basic.

I feel like if the client or if the injured worker understands how to calculate this stuff or why it isn't just so cut and dried, then they'll understand why there's a range when you're attempting to settle the case. I think this is super important for you to understand. Hopefully I made sense.

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About the author - Scott D. DeSalvo

I've been helping injured people just like you for my entire 20+ year career in all kinds of injury cases, and I can probably help you, too.

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