We expect to work in a safe environment, but that does not always happen, unfortunately. Accidents happen — a lot. In the United States alone, 2.6 million non-fatal workplace accidents happen every year. There are roughly 4,000 to 5,000 fatalities every year.
When a workplace injury requires medical treatment and causes you to miss work, you may wonder what financial options you have. In extreme circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. However, in most situations, workers’ compensation benefits are your only option.
All states have workers’ compensation laws, so when it comes to Florida’s laws, what can you expect? Here are some charts that help explain impairment and compensation for injured body parts, surgeries, and other procedures.
Degree of Impairment
The more severe your impairment, the more money you will receive in workers’ compensation benefits. Severity is determined by percentage points, and you get more weeks of pay per percentage point. Here is how it works:
- Impairment rating of 1-10%: Two weeks per percentage point.
- Impairment rating of 11-15%: Three weeks per percentage point.
- Impairment rating of 16-20%: Four weeks per percentage point.
- Impairment rating of 21% or more: Six weeks per percentage point.
You will receive an impairment rating once you have reached maximum medical improvement, which is the point at which your medical condition will not improve. If you are still disabled at that point, the doctor will give you an impairment rating, which is the percentage that identifies what level of impairment you have with that body part. You will then receive pay for a specific number of weeks based on that impairment rating.
When you receive workers’ compensation benefits, your medical bills are paid. You may also receive partial or full disability benefits, either temporarily or permanently.
If you are permanently totally disabled, you will be entitled to two-thirds of your pre-injury income. If you have an impairment rating of above 20%, you may be classified as permanently disabled and not able to return to your job. This means you may be entitled to receive payments indefinitely.
However, if you are permanently partially impaired, you can only receive payments for a temporary period based on the impairment schedule listed above. Keep in mind that the payments build upon each other. What this means is that if you are 19% impaired, you would get benefits for:
- 20 weeks (for the first 10%)
- 15 weeks (for the 11% to 15%)
- 16 weeks (for the 15% to 19%)
You would get paid for a total of 51 weeks, and your payment would equal 75% of the disability rate.
Some workplace accidents are severe and result in the amputation of a body part. There is also a schedule that shows how much you can receive for losing certain body parts. Here is a schedule showing the maximum amounts:
- Arm: $186,293
- Hand: $163,559
- Leg: $110,513
- Foot: $65,045
- Eye: $49,889
- Thumb: $42,311
- Index finger: $14,525
- Middle finger: $14,525
- Ring finger: $6,315
- Pinky: $6,315
- Big toe: $6,315
Keep in mind that not every victim will receive these amounts. If you return to work and are able to earn the same wage or higher, your compensation will be reduced in half.
Why are Workers’ Compensation Claims Different?
Not all personal injury claims are alike. This is especially true when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. That is because personal injury claims are built on the premise of negligence or wrongdoing. If you can prove either of those elements, then you can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In a workers’ comp claim, though, you cannot sue your employer. You must recover compensation through the workers’ compensation system. And your compensation is limited based on the level of impairment and maximum payouts listed above.
Workers’ compensation is not perfect. It does not pay for damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress. However, on the upside, it can be easier to make your claim and recover payment for losses since you do not have to prove negligence in order to recover compensation. Your employer is almost always responsible for paying for your workplace injuries, regardless of fault.
Also, keep in mind that workers’ compensation claims are not settled overnight. Many cases are complex, and you can expect it to take around 12 to 18 months to resolve your claim. Because of this, it is a good idea to have a competent workers’ comp lawyer on your side to resolve your case as efficiently as possible.
Contact Us Today
Workplace accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries. If a body part has been affected, you may want to know how much compensation you can expect to receive. It can be difficult to obtain the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The team at Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm, can assess your case and help you get maximum compensation.
To schedule a free consultation, call (954) 876-4344 or fill out the online form. We have offices in Weston, Coral Gables, and Daytona Beach.