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What Factors Affect a Workers' Compensation Settlement?

Workers that are injured while at work may be entitled to workers' compensation disability benefits.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 June 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A workers’ compensation settlement can be affected by a wide range of factors. A person’s past earnings or expected earnings will play a role. The health care provider and what that provider determines about an individual’s condition will have a major impact. Whether a person utilizes the assistance of a lawyer also tends to affect her settlement.

A person’s wages before getting injured will affect her worker’s compensation settlement. Monetary benefits are usually figured by assessing how much money a person is accustomed to making and paying her a percentage of that amount. If a person has been employed for only a short time, the calculation is based on expected wages.

The health care provider who attends to an injured employee plays a role in determining her workers' compensation settlement. A person’s medical condition is usually the primary focus of the case. It is common for injured employees’ choices of health care providers to be limited to lists provided by their employers. In some cases, the medical professionals on those lists make determinations that are in favor of the employers and therefore against the best interest of the person who is hurt.

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Health care providers can have such a profound effect on a case because the type of injury and the severity of the injury are major determining factors in the workers' compensation settlement. For example, when a worker’s injury or illness takes her out of work or requires her to work in a position where she earns less, she is usually entitled to disability benefits. Benefits for disability are commonly based on whether the disability is full or partial and whether it is temporary or permanent. The determinations made in this regard have a direct effect on the amount of money that a person is awarded.

Future medical costs will also affect the workers' compensation settlement. It is unlawful to place any type of time constraints on a person’s medical care. Individuals who will require ongoing treatment or long-term therapy should be awarded more than individuals who heal quickly.

A lawyer is generally not required to file for or to receive workers’ compensation. Considering this, it may seem strange to discover that a lawyer tends to have a major effect on a workers’ compensation settlement. Individuals who handle their cases without legal assistance tend to have a more difficult time accessing benefits if they manage to do so. Those who do obtain benefits without a lawyer also tend to be undercompensated.

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