Workers’ compensation is an insurance system designed to provide employees with wage replacement and medical benefits if they are injured while performing their job duties. A significant component of workers’ compensation is the settlement provided for permanent disability.
This article will delve into the details of the average workers’ comp settlement for permanent disability. Our Florida workers comp lawyers are here to help you get the maximum compensation. Contact our office today for a free case review.
Understanding Workers’ Comp Settlements
Workplace injuries are treated differently from other types of injuries. If you sustain an injury at work, you typically cannot sue your employer. Instead, you file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. This insurance covers all work-related injuries, regardless of whether your employer was at fault.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides compensation for:
- Medical Expenses and Ongoing Care
- Lost Wages
- Death Benefits
You have the option to settle your workers’ compensation claim with the insurance provider by agreeing to accept a lump sum payment or structured settlement. However, once you settle, you forfeit any future claims related to the same injury.
Workers’ Comp Settlement for Permanent Disability
The average workers’ compensation figure may not be helpful if you’re trying to estimate your potential workers’ comp permanent disability settlement amount. The actual amount can vary significantly based on factors such as:
- Whether your permanent disability is total or partial
- The body part affected
- Your wages before the injury
- Your earning capacity after the injury
A permanent disability is defined as a condition that will last for the rest of your life. Whether your disability is classified as total or partial depends on whether you can work in some capacity or not.
Determining Settlement Amounts
The exact settlement amount will depend on several factors, including the nature of your injury, and its severity. While every workers’ compensation claim is unique, there are resources available to help estimate average settlement amounts.
In Florida, the typical compensation for permanent partial disability varies between $19,700 and $38,100. If you are classified as permanently and totally disabled, you could be eligible to receive up to two-thirds of your income prior to the injury, subject to a maximum limit defined by the state.
Impairment Income Benefits (Permanent Partial Disability)
When an injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that their condition is not expected to improve further with additional medical treatment, a physician will assess the level of permanent impairment.
The impairment is typically expressed as a percentage, representing the loss of function or impairment to a specific body part.
The amount of the weekly benefits will be 75% of your temporary total disability rate (up to the same legal maximum), but that amount will be cut in half if you’re earning at least as much as you did before your injury.
Florida’s Limit on Permanent Partial Disability
In Florida, the workers’ compensation system has established certain caps on the compensation an injured worker can receive. As per Florida law (440.12 Florida Statutes), the highest weekly compensation rate for work-related injuries and illnesses is equivalent to 100 percent of the Statewide average weekly wage.
For temporary disability, workers in Florida can receive up to $1,197 per week for accidents in 2023. For impairment income benefits, you will receive 75% of the temporary total disability rate, which means your weekly compensation would be around $897.75.
However, if you are able to return to work at your pre-injury salary, this compensation is halved.
Florida law outlines the number of weeks that Impairment benefits are paid as follows:
- 2 weeks of checks for every percentage from 1-10%;
- 3 weeks of checks for every percentage from 11-15%;
- 4 weeks of checks for every percentage from 16-20%; and
- 6 weeks of checks for every percentage from 21% and up.
Permanent Total Disability
Under Florida Statute 440.15, a worker must be physically incapable of doing any job within 50 miles of his/her home to qualify for permanent total disability benefits. This includes a sedentary job.
In the following cases, an employee is assumed to be totally disabled unless the insurance carrier can prove the worker is physically capable of sedentary employment within 50 miles.
- Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or the trunk;
- Amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg
- Severe brain injury
- Second-degree or third-degree burns on 25 percent or more of the body
- or third-degree burns to at least 5 percent of the face and hands
- Total or industrial blindness
Permanent total disability benefits can continue until you turn 75, or for life if you don’t qualify for social security benefits. Permanent total disability benefits pay up to 66 2/3 percent of the worker’s average weekly wages up to a state maximum.
Call Our Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers Today!
Being informed about the average workers’ comp settlement for permanent disability is essential for employees who have sustained work-related injuries. It’s important to remember that each case is unique and influenced by various factors.
Therefore, consulting with an experienced attorney who can guide you through this complex process is always recommended. Contact Work Injury Rights at 954-833-5226 to set up a free consultation today.