How your workers’ compensation settlement is calculated will depend on the severity of the injuries you suffered and the income you make. Victims can sustain serious injuries, potentially leaving them with costly medical expenses and unable to work. Fortunately, Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured employees with compensation to cover losses from the accident.
Knowing how a workers’ compensation settlement is calculated in Louisiana can help you better understand what to expect from your own case if you have been hurt on the job. An attorney who handles workers’ compensation cases can help victims of workplace accidents by assisting with the claims process and working toward a favorable outcome.
Workers’ Compensation Settlements are Calculated Based on the Facts of Your Case
As with all injury claims, no two workers’ compensation cases are the same. Your specific settlement is calculated based on the particular facts of your case because your settlement amount is meant to compensate you for the actual losses you suffered from the accident.
While each settlement value will be unique, some common factors to consider that may affect the value of your compensation include:
- Your specific injury: accidents with severe injuries may require expensive long-term care and, therefore, a higher settlement value
- How the injury impacts your career: if the injury prevents you from going back to your job in the same capacity, or at all, you may require additional compensation to accommodate for the changed career trajectory
- Time off work: The longer your injury keeps you out of work, the more income you miss out on, potentially impacting the amount of compensation you need
- Your income:generally, a workers’ compensation settlement is determined, in part, with specific numbers based on your average weekly wage
- Disputes: sometimes, the insurance company providing your employer’s policy may dispute facts in the case, leading them to modify the value of the offer
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What do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
It’s important to understand that most workers’ compensation claims only provide payment for specific losses. The average workers’ compensation claim will include benefits for the following types of losses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Disability benefits
- Benefits to compensate a victim’s family in the event of death
As you work to calculate your workers’ compensation settlement value, our lawyers can help you determine how the benefits above fit into the facts of your case and what you need to do to include each into your claim.
Detailed Documentation Can Be Crucial to Your Settlement Value
Victims of workplace accidents may benefit significantly from keeping an organized file of all documentation related to the accident, especially any medical costs or care plans. When calculating the settlement value, your employer’s insurance company may need to see medical bills for the treatment you have already received and a detailed treatment plan.
Taking the time to gather all of your documentation into one easy-to-access place can make a difference as you build your claim. In addition, our injury lawyers can work with you to ensure you have the documentation you need as you calculate your workers’ compensation settlement.
Understanding How Your Average Weekly Wage Impacts Your Settlement Value
One key aspect to understand when calculating a workers’ compensation settlement is the role of the average weekly wage. Your lost wages make up a significant portion of your settlement value. In most states, like Louisiana, you can receive up to two-thirds of your weekly pre-tax income. The maximum you could receive is 75% of the statewide weekly average wage at the time your injury occurred. The minimum is 20% of that average wage.
Additionally, the severity of your injury with regard to disability and impairment rating is also considered when calculating your lost wages. Generally, wages are covered longer in cases with debilitating injuries.
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Should I Take a Lump-Sum or Structured Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
Once you accept a settlement offer, you will need to determine how you prefer to receive your compensation. Settlement payments can be:
- Lump-sum: you receive the total settlement amount in a single payment
- Structured: your settlement is paid to you in installments over an extended period
Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws prefer ongoing benefits be paid over time as opposed to one lump sum. However, you can settle your claim after six months of your first payment. You may want to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine the best option for you. Our injury attorneys can help you make important considerations to decide if you should take a lump-sum or structured settlement.
At Morris Bart, LLC, We Can Help You with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
When calculating a workers’ compensation settlement, you will need to make several considerations to ensure you get the compensation that accurately reflects your medical expenses and lost wages. We can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process, including using the facts of your case to build a solid foundation for your settlement value.
Call us at (800) 537-8185 to learn more about how we may be able to help with your workers’ compensation claim.
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