How do injuries get valued in workers’ compensation payouts?
We work with our workers’ compensation clients to get them the maximum recovery for their work-related injuries. Some of the values of those injuries are clearer cut than others.
If we and the compensation carrier can’t work out a settlement agreement, the value of your case will be decided by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Workers’ Compensation, an administrative court that determines the value of an injured New Jersey worker’s claim.
Partial permanent disability
When a job-related injury or illness results in a partial permanent disability, benefits are based upon a percentage of certain “scheduled” or “nonscheduled” losses.
- A “scheduled” loss is one involving arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth. The schedule lists the body parts, the percentage of loss and value of each.
- A “nonscheduled” loss is one involving any area or system of the body not specifically identified in the schedule, such as the back, heart or lungs.
These benefits are paid weekly and are due after the date temporary disability ends.
Temporary total disability
If an injured worker is disabled for more than seven days, he or she will be eligible to receive temporary total benefits at a rate of 70 percent of their average weekly wage, with a maximum and minimum rate set by the State based on the year of the accident. For example, for an accident occurring in the year 2013 the maximum rate is $843.00 and the minimum is $225.00. These benefits are provided during the period when a worker is unable to work and is under active medical care.
Benefits usually end when the worker is released to return to work in some capacity or if the worker has reached maximum medical improvement, when additional treatment will no longer improve their medical condition.
Permanent total disability
If a work-related injury or illness prevents a worker from returning to any type of gainful employment, that person may receive permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability is presumed when the worker has lost two major body parts or a combination of parts of the body, such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet. However, permanent total disability can also result from a combination of other injuries that render the worker unemployable.
These weekly benefits are provided initially for 450 weeks. These benefits may continue if the injured worker can show that he or she remains unable to earn wages.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job and want to get answers to questions about workers’ compensation, contact our office.