All Questions

June 30, 2020 | Gary Burger

Is There a Maximum for a Workers' Compensation Settlement?

Each workers' compensation case is unique. In evaluating the worth of a particular case, consider the circumstances of the accident; the type, duration, and severity of the injury; the worker's typical wages; and the type of work the employee performed. These factors determine what types of benefits you can receive from your employer's workers' compensation insurance as well as the maximum settlement you can receive.

The state uses formulas to calculate benefits in a workers' compensation case, but the simple act of filing a claim does not guarantee you the payout you expect and deserve. Many factors go into evaluating your workers' compensation case, and your employer would prefer to pay as little as possible. Burger Law will help navigate your case and prove all the ways your work-related injury or illness has affected your life. Receive a free case review by calling us at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222.

Is There a Maximum Amount I Can Get in a Workers' Compensation Settlement?

The settlements awarded to workers' compensation claimants vary widely in monetary value. A case in which an employee gets a laceration that requires three stitches on her finger is not worth the same as a case in which a worker becomes terminally ill due to hazardous working conditions. There is not one universal maximum amount a person can receive in a workers' compensation case. The state uses coding systems and formulas to determine the amount of benefits a claimant is entitled to.

To better understand what financial recompense one can expect in their workers' compensation case, take a look at the different forms of workers' compensation benefits. The employer provides coverage for medical costs, lost wages, and the permanent effects of the injury. Each category has its own requirements, guidelines, and maximum coverage rules.

Medical Costs

Following a workplace injury or illness, the employee often needs medical attention. Workers’ compensation laws in Missouri provide coverage for any medical treatment the employee receives for the work-related injury, as long as they utilize a physician of the employer’s choosing. The employee has the right to refuse medical care or seek care under a health provider of their own choosing but do so at their own expense unless otherwise authorized by the employer.

There is no limit as to the cost or extent of medical benefits an employee can receive. However, if the employee has to travel beyond their local metropolitan area to meet with the employer-appointed doctor, the employer will also cover transportation costs. Missouri limits payment of mileage to 250 miles each way.

Temporary Disability

In addition to coverage of any medically necessary treatments or procedures, workers’ compensation covers temporary total disability (TTD), which accounts for lost wages. TTD benefits substitute the income the employee is not able to earn during the time they are out of work due to their injury.

TTD benefits are limited by a statewide maximum. An employee’s coverage for lost wages is calculated by a formula. Their average weekly wage (AWW) is determined by averaging their gross weekly earnings for the last thirteen weeks. TTD pays two thirds (⅔) of their average weekly wage, tax-free, to the employee. There are exceptions to this rule, and an employee who is injured but still able to work on a limited basis can receive a lower amount for temporary partial disability instead.

The maximum amount an employee can receive in TTD in Missouri as of June 2020 is $981.65 per week, for up to 400 weeks. The maximum is based on 105% of the state’s average weekly wage and is updated in July of every year.

Permanent Disability

After temporary total disability benefits conclude and the employee is either able to return to work or simply has reached the maximum recovery possible from the injury, known as Maximum Medical Improvement, they may be eligible for either permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD).

The settlement for the permanent partial or total disability resulting from a workplace injury could be paid in weekly payments or a lump sum. Payment amounts are also dictated by state limits, but factor in the extent of the disability and the body part affected by the injury. There are different values, or levels, for different body parts, with an additional percentage allowed if the employee has lost the use of or is missing the body part altogether.

There are further possible benefits available depending on the extent of the injury and the environment in which the employee worked. For example, there are further allowances for disfigurement and death. In addition, emergency personnel, occupational disease sufferers, and workers with previously existing physical or mental health conditions which became worse due to their work environment are entitled to supplemental coverage as well.

Worker's Compensation Lawyers in St. Louis, MO

You need a lawyer to get the most out of your workers' compensation case. Only experienced injury and workers' compensation attorneys know what your case is truly worth and can fight to get you the additional benefits that your employer may not offer you voluntarily. When you and your family depend on your income in order to survive, your workers' compensation case becomes very important. The settlement you receive will have a profound impact on your daily life for the foreseeable future.

Put your future in the hands of a law firm with a history of winning tough cases like yours. Burger Law knows that you and your family count on your ability to work. We want to see you return to life as normal as soon as possible, and winning your workers' compensation claim is the first step towards making that happen. Contact or call us at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222 today. Your case review is free.