How Is A Workers’ Compensation Settlement Calculated?
Work Injury - May 28, 2021
Anytime a person goes to work, they expect that they will be protected in the event they sustain an injury. After all, that is what the workers’ compensation system is for, right? Unfortunately, securing workers’ compensation payments can be complicated, particularly if there are any problems with the insurance carrier or the employer.
Here, we want to discuss how workers’ compensation settlements are calculated in Illinois. This process can be challenging, and it is crucial to have a skilled work injury lawyer handle every aspect of your claim on your behalf.
Handling Medical Bills
One of the most important things that workers’ compensation insurance covers in Illinois is medical expenses. When a person is injured at work, they need to seek immediate medical care. In this state, the workers’ compensation laws allow a person to secure their own doctor, surgeon, and hospital services at the expense of the employer.
In general, all of the medical bills related to a workplace injury or illness will be covered through the workers’ compensation system in Illinois.
What About Disabilities and Missed Work?
There are times when employees cannot work while they recover from their injury or illness. In these instances, they may receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits (please note that employers have the option of providing modified light-duty work to accommodate physical limitations during the recovery process).
An employee who has to miss work will not receive TTD benefits for the first three days of lost work unless they need at least 14 days off in total. TDD Benefits will continue until a person’s doctor says that their condition has improved as much as it is going to with treatment. This is called maximum medical improvement, or MMI.
The total amount of TDD benefits will be two-thirds of the injured worker’s pre-injury average weekly wage. If a person is able to return to light-duty or part-time work while they are recovering, they may be able to receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. These benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the difference between what a person would have earned at their pre-injury job and their current wages.
If an injured worker has lost the use of some part of their body, there are four types of permanent partial disability benefits that may be available in Illinois:
- Wage differential. This will pay the difference between what a person was earning at their pre-injury job and what they are earning at their new job at a rate of two-thirds the difference.
- Schedule loss of use awards. If a person has lost the use of certain body parts, they may receive an award equal to 60% of their pre-injury average weekly wages multiplied by the number of weeks shown in a schedule set forth under Illinois law for that particular body part.
- Non-scheduled awards. If a person has a physical impairment that is not listed on the schedule, they may receive a non-scheduled award amount equal to 60% of their pre-injury average weekly wage for a part of 500 weeks, based on the disability rating assigned by their doctor.
- Disfigurement benefits. If a person sustains serious and permanent disfigurement to an area of their body commonly visible to the public, they may be entitled to an award amount equal to 60% of their pre-injury average weekly wages for 162 weeks.
If a person reaches the maximum limit and the doctor determines that their injury or occupational illness has left them with permanent disabilities or physical loss, permanent total disability benefits may be in order. A person will be considered permanently and totally disabled if they are unable to do any kind of work or if they have lost the use of both hands, arms, feet, legs, or eyes (or a combination of any two of those). In these instances, a person will receive permanent total disabilities for the remainder of their life, at the same rate as their temporary total disability benefits.