When you have suffered an on-the-job injury, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance company. Although it is certainly possible to settle a workers compensation claim for one lump sum, this is strongly discouraged almost universally, as you may require future medical care that will not be covered if you do settle.
However, we understand that there are some valid reasons for settling a workers compensation claim, and with that in mind, we have gone into further detail about how Massachusetts workers comp settlements are calculated below.
The first step in calculating a workers compensation settlement is figuring out how much your average weekly wages are. The amount that you will receive will depend on what type of disability you have.
For example, if you are facing total disability and unable to work any job, you would be entitled to 60 percent of your average weekly wages. Partially disabled individuals can collect 45 percent, and individuals with permanent disabilities are entitled to 66 percent of their average weekly wages.
Then, a determination of how long you are expected to be unable to work will be. For instance, if you have a total disability and are expected to be out of work for a period of one year, you would be entitled to 60 percent of your average weekly wages, multiplied by fifty-two weeks (one year). This figure is what you would be issued in one lump sum.
In addition to the loss of medical coverage when you accept a workers compensation settlement, doing so could prevent you from being able to return to your job at all. After a settlement has been issued, you won’t be permitted to return to work for the length of time as described in your work comp settlement. This can often result in a job loss.
If you are able to be approved for workers compensation benefits, your job will be protected and you’ll still be entitled to approximately 60 percent of your average weekly wages, usually until you are able to return to work or have reached what’s called maximum medical improvement.
What’s more, you’ll also have all of your injury-related medical expenses covered by the insurance company, and be eligible for educational opportunities or vocational training if your condition prevents you from returning to work in the same field. For these reasons and more, it is often in injury victims best interest to accept workers compensation benefits as opposed to a workers comp settlement.
If you have additional questions about whether you should take a workers comp settlement or accept benefits instead, reach out to a highly trained Boston workers compensation lawyer at Joel H. Schwartz, PC.
Injury victims across the state can take advantage of a free consultation with an attorney by giving our office a call at 617-742-1170 or filling out the quick contact form we have included at the bottom of this page.