How Much Is Your Work Injury Case Worth?
Median recovery for workers’ comp cases in Illinois ranges between about $65,000 and $75,000. Although the majority of work injury claims in the state recover between $8,000 and $42,000, more severe injuries like amputations, brain injuries, and paralysis can be worth much more. If you were injured on the job, however, you should not compare your workers’ compensation claim to those of other injured workers or make assumptions about the amount you’ll likely receive. Instead, give us a call. Our firm offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation to help you understand how much your work injury case may be worth.
How Attorneys Determine What Your Workers’ Compensation Case May Be Worth
While every workers’ comp claim is very fact-specific, determining the value of your case is not a straightforward task. There are many variables that must be considered. When evaluating how much your work injury case may be worth, we use the same basic guidelines used by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. This enables us to provide you with a more accurate estimate of your case’s value. We’ll take a look at:
- Your age
- Your occupation
- Your average weekly wage (AWW) prior to your injury
- Your medical records
- Whether your injuries resulted in permanent impairment
- Third parties that may have played a role in causing your work-related injuries
How Your Age May Play a Role in Determining the Value of Your Case
If you are permanently disabled, must remain on expensive medications for the rest of your life, or your wages will be substantially reduced because of your injuries, your age at the time of your accident may be significant when valuing your case. A permanent injury to a 25-year-old, for instance, is typically going to be worth much more than the same injury to a 60-year-old.
What Your Occupation Has to Do With Your Financial Recovery After a Work Injury
Your occupation may play a role in the value of your workers’ comp case as well. If you cannot return to the occupation you had prior to when you were injured, your case will likely be worth more. If you were a construction worker, for instance, and lost the use of your legs, you will probably not be able to return to your job. If construction work is all you know, the impact your injury has on your future earning potential is huge. Additionally, you may qualify for vocational retraining and the disability benefit payments to help you make ends meet while you learn new skills. In contrast, if you were an office worker and your occupation required very little or no physical activity, losing the use of your legs would not likely permanently impact your ability to work.
Your Average Weekly Wage Impacts the Value of Your Case
Your average weekly wage (AWW) impacts nearly every variable in your case. It is used when determining temporary total disability benefits (TTD), wage differential when workers are temporarily partially disabled, permanent partial and permanent total disability benefits, the value of work-related amputations, vocational rehabilitation maintenance benefits, and survivors’ benefits for family members when a loved one is killed on the job.
How Medical Records Impact Your Workers’ Comp Settlement
Whether you’re filing an initial claim for workers’ comp benefits, appealing an adverse decision, or fighting to retain benefits while you recover, your medical records can make or break your case. Without strong medical evidence to back up your claim for work-related disability, your employer will likely deny your benefits entirely. If you don’t follow through with treatment and make an effort to recover, the validity of your claim can more easily be challenged. Additionally, until you undergo treatment for your work-related condition, it will be difficult to determine how your work injuries will impact your future earning potential.
Permanent Impairments Will Impact Your Financial Recovery
Once your condition has stabilized and no further recovery is expected, your physician will determine you to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). If your employer’s independent medical examiner agrees that your condition will not improve with further treatment, the insurance company will likely reach out to you or your workers’ compensation attorney with a settlement offer. You should not accept a final settlement for your injuries until MMI has been reached because the full extent of your injuries may not yet be apparent. If your work injury left you permanently impaired, an impairment rating may be used to determine final damages. More severe permanent impairments will constitute larger settlement amounts.
How Third-Party Liability Factors Into Your Total Financial Recovery
In addition to the benefits you receive through your workers’ compensation claim, you may be entitled to additional recovery if a third party played a role in causing your injury. Filing a personal injury claim against a product manufacturer, contractor, driver, or property owner other than your employer will not impact the amount you receive through workers’ compensation. You can pursue compensation through your workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim simultaneously.
When you file a claim against another party that is not your employer or another employee, your total financial recovery can double or even triple. A lawsuit against a responsible third party can help you recover damages that are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Need Help With Your Case?
Before you talk to anyone, you should call our office and schedule a free consultation with our experienced lawyer to determine your rights and to ensure that you set up for case to receive the maximum compensation which you may be entitled to under law.
Attorney Brent Eames is a compassionate advocate for his clients and is experienced in securing top verdicts, awards, and settlements on behalf of injured victims, including, but not limited to, claims for:
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