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What Is a Fair Settlement for Workers' Comp? | The Karl Truman Law Office

What Is a Fair Workers’ Comp Settlement?

July 8, 2021

Few things are as nerve-wracking as losing the ability to work. It can create a great deal of uncertainty, especially when an injury has a long-term impact on your ability to return to the job you held before your injury.

The good news is that most employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which can provide financial support as you heal from your injuries or help you if your injuries result in a disability.

The bad news is that the system doesn’t always work as it should. Injured workers are sometimes denied benefits or not given what they need and deserve.

That said, how do you know what a fair settlement is in your situation? At the Karl Truman Law Office, we’re here to help. Here, we want to take a look at how we determine if a workers’ compensation settlement is fair, including how to understand average settlement numbers, what workers’ comp covers, and who is entitled to benefits.

If you are struggling to understand your rights, especially if your claim has been denied, we encourage you to get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

What Is the Average Workers’ Comp Settlement?

This is a difficult question to answer because settlements vary greatly. It would be similar to asking what the average surgery costs – it depends, of course, on the nature of the surgery. Surgery to remove a tooth, for example, is much cheaper than the cost of brain surgery. Trying to estimate how much either would cost by taking an average of all surgeries would not be very helpful.

That said, a good ballpark for most workers’ comp settlements is $2,000 – $40,000. That’s still a wide range, but it should give you a better idea of what to expect. 

Nevertheless, when calculating what you deserve in benefits, you should never rely on averages. Instead, you need to understand what workers’ compensation covers to calculate your losses.

What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?

Workers’ comp benefits are broken into four distinct categories:

  • Medical expenses: First, benefits cover all necessary medical treatment, from hospital stays and prescriptions to therapy. In very serious situations, these bills can add up quickly.
  • Lost wages: If you are unable to work, you should be eligible for Temporary Total Disability (TTD). There are, however, limitations on how much you can receive in benefits while recovering from your injuries, meaning your benefits may not match your regular income. The rules and regulations around disability benefits are complex and the application of these benefits depends on if and when you can get back to work at full capacity or are able to work at all.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: If you are permanently unable to complete the job you once did, you may be able to receive vocational rehabilitation, which includes career counseling, job training, and support for finding new work.
  • Death benefits: In the absolute worst situations, when you lose a loved one in a workplace accident, workers’ comp will help cover expenses and provide financial support in place of your loved one’s lost income.

Ultimately, a good rule of thumb is that the more serious an injury is, the higher a settlement is likely to be.

Who Is Entitled to Workers’ Comp Benefits in Indiana?

While there are some exceptions, most employees working in Indiana businesses are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when injured on the job. These benefits apply to both accidents and occupational illnesses, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are also some things to consider about the nature of the accident. First, being that Indiana’s workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, it doesn’t matter if your mistake led to the injury. However, there are exceptions, such as if you were intoxicated when the accident happened or you did it on purpose.

Also, you must be actively fulfilling your work duties when the injury took place. If, for example, you are on a lunch break or commuting to work when the injury took place, you may not be eligible for benefits unless you were in some way fulfilling your job’s duties while doing so.

If this is the case and someone else was responsible for the accident, you will instead want to consider a personal injury claim.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

In an ideal world, workers’ comp claims would be straightforward and easy to navigate. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. 

These claims can be highly complex and there are deadlines for filing claims. It can be easy to make a mistake – even when trying to do the right thing – that irreparably harms your ability to receive benefits.

Hence, while you may be able to handle a claim on your own, working with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected and you receive the benefits you need and deserve.

This is especially true if your claim has been denied or you don’t receive all of the benefits you believe you deserve. Also, in some situations, you may be able to file a personal claim for additional compensation, and an attorney can help you determine if this is an option.

Contact a Jeffersonville Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today

At the Karl Truman Law Office, our goal is to take the burden of navigating the workers’ comp system off of injured workers’ backs. We want you to be able to focus on getting better, not become frustrated by a bureaucratic system while facing the uncertainty that comes with not knowing what your rights truly are.

Don’t face your injuries alone. To speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the Karl Truman Law Office, call our Jeffersonville office today at (812) 282-8500. Your initial consultation is free.