How Much is a Head Injury Worth to Workers' Comp?
The amount paid in workers’ compensation benefits for a head injury depends on some key factors like the severity of the injury and the expected long-term impact.
The value of a claim varies tremendously because minor injuries like concussions may heal quickly without long-term impact but more serious injuries can cause long-term disability. In any case, the workers’ compensation system is a trade-off; it eliminates the need for lawsuits but compensation is more limited. In other words, your workers’ compensation award will likely be lower than the settlement or judgment you could receive in court.
There are a lot of variables that go into a workers’ compensation head injury settlement. If you have questions about a head injury at work, talk to a Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law; we take all of those factors into account and advocate for maximum compensation.
Why workers’ compensation is different than litigation
The workers’ compensation system is based on no-fault claims. This means that you can receive benefits under your employer’s policy for your head injury without needing to prove that your employer was negligent. In a lawsuit, you would have the burden of proving that the defendant was at fault. Not only is proving liability sometimes complicated, time-consuming, and fact-intensive, but it can require hiring expensive expert witnesses.
In a workers’ compensation case, however, your benefits are less complete. You may be able to recover economic losses like:
- Medical care to treat the injury;
- Payment for lost wages based on temporary disability
- Permanent disability benefits for loss of function
- Benefits for job retraining
The benefits are also capped under the statute. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, permits a successful plaintiff to recover for economic losses like the cost of medical treatment and lost wages, without a cap, and it also allows recovery of non-economic damages for losses like pain and suffering, emotional loss, disfigurement, and loss of consortium. If you qualify to file a lawsuit against someone, either instead of or in addition to a worker’s comp claim, your Ellis Injury Law traumatic brain injury attorney will balance the responsibilities of a lawsuit with the opportunity for a more complete reward when advising you of your legal options.
Factors impacting the value of a head injury under workers’ comp in Southern California
It is important to present documentation that fully backs up the important aspects of your injury because these will impact how much your claim is worth. Here are some factors that will play a role:
- Uncontested injury – If your injury was clearly sustained on the job then the carrier will be less likely to try to negotiate a low settlement.
- Cost of medical treatment – The cost to treat your injury is a driving force in the value of the claim. Naturally, an injury requiring longer or more expensive treatment will receive greater compensation.
- Cost of expected future medical treatment – It is not just the medical costs incurred at the time of the injury that matter. If you will need ongoing rehabilitation, medication, or other medical necessities, those may be included in your award as well.
- Income before the injury – Workers’ comp will replace a portion of your income when you must miss work due to the injury. The higher your pay before the accident, the more you may recover under a claim.
- Age and health before the injury – Someone who is younger and healthier faces the potential of a greater long-term impairment and a greater restriction on pre-injury abilities so the potential compensation is larger.
- Other available benefits – If you receive other benefits, like Social Security Disability, it can impact how much you receive in workers’ compensation. At Ellis Injury Law, we work to coordinate benefits to maximize your injury-related income.
Maximize the benefits for your head injury
Head injuries can be debilitating even if they at first seem minor. Early treatment and follow-up care are important steps to improve prognosis. Working with a knowledgeable California workers’ compensation attorney can help you secure the benefits you need to keep your health in focus.
At Ellis Injury Law, we understand the impact that a work-related head injury can have on your life. We are here to help you obtain the resources you need to pay medical bills and replace lost income. If you are eligible to pursue other benefits or a personal injury lawsuit, we will help you navigate those roads. Call Ellis Injury Law today to speak with our Los Angeles accident lawyers about your claim. Consultations are free of charge.