How Much is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
That is the number one question I’m asked by clients. Of course, there is no fixed answer to this question. It depends! It depends on several criteria which I will discuss later but most importantly, in California, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is a type of insurance that provides medical treatment and wage loss benefits to employees who have gotten sick or been injured at the workplace. If an employee suffers a job-related injury or illness, then they are entitled to benefits — without regard to fault. Also, if an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, then their survivors are entitled to receive their benefits.
As a California workers’ compensation lawyer with over 25 years of experience, it’s important to understand that there are many types of benefits available to you under the law. You only have to qualify for one of the benefits to qualify for compensation. These qualifying benefits include:
Medical Benefits: the necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospital services related to the work injury or illness.
Temporary Total Benefits: workers who are disabled for more than seven (7) days will be eligible for temporary total benefits, which will go back to the first day or lost time.
Permanent Partial Benefits: if a work-related injury or illness results in permanent bodily impairment, then benefits will be paid based on an employee’s functional loss.
Permanent Total Benefits: if a work injury or illness prevents an employee from returning to any type of employment, they may be eligible for this type of benefit.
Death Benefits: dependents of an employee who died from a work-related illness or injury may be entitled to receive death benefits as well as funeral benefits.
In order to calculate what a qualifying injury or illness may be worth, there are a number of other factors to consider for your case. For this reason, it can be difficult to predict exactly how much a California workers’ comp case is worth. Your compensation depends on these factors:
Type and severity of your injury: any injury that requires extensive and ongoing treatment, or even surgery, will be more expensive to treat. This factors into the value of a case. A more severe injury, such as an amputation vs. a broken arm, will leave a worker more disabled — and may increase the worth of a case given the potential for permanent total or partial disability benefits.
Ability to work: if you are unable to work due to your injury or illness, this shows that the disability is ongoing and more severe.
Need for future medical care: if you will need medical care not only today but in the future, then your workers’ comp case will likely be worth more money.
Status of case: if your employer has accepted responsibility for your injury, it can increase the value of your case, but if the case is in litigation, it can reduce the total settlement amount.
Personal situation: if you are in financial distress, then you may not have time to properly negotiate a maximum benefit. Financial distress may force you to accept a lower settlement offer than you would otherwise accept.
Type of work performed: if you did physical or skilled labor, any type of physical disability will make it more difficult for you to go back to your job.
Opinion of medical professionals: if your doctor and other medical professionals believe that your symptoms are related to your work injury or illness, then that will likely increase the value of your claim.
Most workers’ compensation cases end in a settlement, where the insurance company, representing the employer, agrees to pay a worker an amount of money to settle their claim. A common factor that causes many of our cases to settle for larger amounts is whether the insurance company believes that there is “future exposure”. Future exposure means that the insurance company believes that they will be required to pay wage loss and medical treatment benefits for an extended period of time in the future. Experienced worker’s compensation lawyers from Barsoum Law will put together the strongest possible case to demonstrate how your settlement should compensate you for all of these expenses, today and in the future.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, Barsoum Law can and will help. We have represented thousands of injured workers throughout California the past 25 years. Contact us today at 877-299-1555 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.