Because they vary based on the circumstances of each victim’s condition, determining an average settlement for a workers’ compensation claim in Los Angeles can present a challenge. In many cases, workers do not even have to go through the settlement process to receive compensation, particularly those who have minor injuries that allow them to recover and return to work quickly.
In more complicated cases, though, employees may have to settle for either a lump sum or weekly payments. Once you accept a settlement amount, you forfeit the opportunity to accept other types of workers’ compensation benefits or file additional claims for medical expenses or lost wages as a result of your injury. A lawyer can help you value your condition, examine your past and future financial status, and seek an adequate workers’ compensation settlement on your behalf.
Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
According to the Chief Executive Office (CEO) of the County of Los Angeles, California requires employers to provide their employees with workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an injury. Workers have a right to receive benefits regardless of who caused the accident, illness, or injury, and the employer has an obligation to provide them expeditiously. While all recipients of workers’ compensation receive payment for their related medical expenses, temporary and permanent disabilities may qualify them for additional benefits.
Temporary Disability Cases Do Not Usually Warrant a Settlement
Workers who suffer a temporary disability (TD) as a result of their occupational injury may have the opportunity to seek TD benefits. Workers’ compensation TD cases typically do not lead to a settlement, as employees only receive payment for a certain period of time. As short-term conditions, temporary disabilities can either improve or worsen over time, which may contribute to a change in the victim’s financial needs and options.
The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) notes that if workers have to miss more than three days of work or stay at least one night in the hospital as a result of their injury and their employer does not offer them another position with the same rate of pay while they recover, they may qualify for TD payments.
If you cannot work at all during your recovery, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, or up to two-thirds of your regular income. If you can work but cannot make the same wage, you may receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, which pay up to two-thirds of the difference between your usual pay and your current wages. In most cases, recipients can benefit from TD pay for up to 104 weeks within a five-year time period.
You May Receive a Settlement for a Permanent Disability
If your doctor determines that your disability will not improve over time or you will always suffer work limitations as a result of your work-related injury, you may qualify for permanent disability (PD) benefits. PD benefits provide you with either weekly payments distributed over a lifetime or a single lump sum, and the amount varies drastically depending on your specific injury, your disability rating, whether or not you have dependents, and the type of PD benefits you qualify to receive.
If you cannot return to work at all because of your injury, you may receive permanent total disability (PTD) payments. If you can work but cannot resume a position that pays you as much as you made prior to your injury, you may qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD). Your PD benefits may not cover all of your financial losses, but you can still work while receiving PPD, and a lawyer can help you seek a fair settlement amount in your case.
The Difficulty of Calculating an Average Settlement for a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Los Angeles
Settlements in permanent disability cases range from a couple thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, even in instances involving similar injuries. The amount you settle on depends on your family situation and how your injury affects you. Certain injuries may qualify you for larger settlements, while a lower disability rating may not interfere as much with your ability to work. For example, if your injury left you paralyzed, you will likely qualify for a higher settlement amount than if you lost a finger.
Some organizations, such as WorkCompCentral, offer resources like workers’ compensation calculators that allow you to estimate how much you might receive in benefits. While these estimates do not guarantee any award amount, they may give you an idea of what a settlement could look like in your case. If you feel that your disability rating, your doctor’s expectations, or your potential payment amounts do not seem fair or adequate, a lawyer can help you assess your injuries as they relate to your financial loss and challenge decisions that can affect your benefits.
A Lawyer Can Help You Pursue a Fair Settlement in Your Case
Many workers’ compensation cases do not involve pursuing a settlement, but those that do typically involve complex circumstances that can prove difficult to manage on your own. A lawyer may not have a way to provide you with information on an average settlement for a workers’ compensation claim in Los Angeles, but they can help you seek adequate compensation in your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 529-9122 to speak with our legal team about your case.