If you’ve been injured at work in Iowa and are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, you might wonder how much your workers comp settlement will be worth.
Several key factors come into play when determining the value of your workers’ compensation settlement. Understanding these factors can help you have realistic expectations and obtain a fair settlement.
(1) Nature and Extent of the Injury
The nature and extent of your work-related injury are critical factors in determining your settlement value. Medical professionals will document the extent of your injury for consideration.
Severe injuries such as injuries to multiple body parts, back or neck injuries requiring surgery, or traumatic brain injuries generally result in higher settlement amounts compared to other work injuries. The injury’s impact on your ability to work, the need for ongoing medical treatment, and the extent of permanent disability will also factor into considerations.
(2) Medical Expenses
The medical expenses directly related to your work injury play a significant role in the value of your settlement. This includes costs for emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment. Keeping track of your medical bills and providing accurate documentation is crucial for determining the value of your settlement.
(3) Lost Earning Capacity
The ability to return to work or earn similar wages as you did before the injury are essential factors in calculating your settlement value.
This includes wages you lost during your recovery period that the Insurance Carrier didn’t compensate at the time and any potential future loss of earning capacity. If your injury prevents you from returning to your previous job or limits your ability to earn the same income, it can significantly impact your settlement amount.
Providing documentation of your pre-injury wages and expert opinions on your future earning potential can strengthen your case.
(4) Permanent Disability and Impairment
If your work injury results in a permanent disability or impairment, it will affect the value of your settlement. The severity and permanence of the disability, as determined by medical professionals, will be considered.
Disabilities that limit your ability to perform work-related tasks or impact your overall quality of life often lead to higher workers’ comp settlement amounts. The compensation will aim to address the long-term impact on your ability to work.
(5) Motivation to Work
In addition to considering the physical and financial aspects, an individual’s effort to return to the workforce within their physical restrictions is a key consideration in determining permanent disability benefits.
An attorney can argue using medical records that an individual either can’t work or has severe work limitations. However, years of experience show that the workers’ compensation agency highly values evidence of an injured worker’s efforts to find employment within their permanent restrictions.
A detailed job search can be critical to increasing the value of your case.
(6) Work History and Age
Your work history and age also play a role in determining the value of your workers’ comp settlement. Factors such as your occupation, experience, and earning potential prior to the injury are considered.
Additionally, your age can affect how long you might receive benefits and your future employability’s potential impact.
(7) Hiring a Lawyer
Determining the value of your workers’ compensation settlement involves considering multiple factors that can be complex to navigate on your own. It’s important to remember that insurance companies often prioritize their own interests over yours.
To ensure you receive a fair settlement that accounts for all your losses and future needs, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A skilled attorney will evaluate your case, gather the necessary evidence, and negotiate on your behalf to maximize the value of your settlement.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable workers’ compensation attorney today to discuss your case and understand your options. Remember, you deserve professional support and advocacy to secure the compensation you need and deserve.
RSH Legal offers free, no-obligation case evaluations to Iowans injured at work. To schedule yours, call 1-800-433-0283 today.