The amount of a workers’ compensation settlement may vary greatly depending on the case. The settlement is limited by North Carolina law and depends on the severity of the injury and the body part(s) injured in the accident.
If the injury is minor, the settlement may be limited to the employee’s lost wages and payment of the medical expenses related to the treatment of the injury. If the injury is severe, such as a major back injury or a traumatic amputation, the employee may lose partial or total use of the body part(s) injured in the accident for the rest of his or her life. In this case, the settlement will include lost wages, medical expenses and some level of compensation for the injury to the body part.
In a case where the employee suffers a partial or total loss of a body part, the treating doctor will assign a disability rating between 0% and 100% for each body part injured. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act assigns each body part a number of weeks to be compensated. For example, the loss of an arm is given 240 weeks. The settlement for the injury will be based on the disability rate from the treating doctor and the number of weeks assigned to the specific body part injured. This amount is then multiplied by 66 2/3 percent of the employee’s average weekly wages. The settlement for these type of major injuries can be six figures.
There is no simple answer as to the value of a worker’s compensation case. As stated, a workers’ compensation settlement is limited by North Carolina law, and there is no payment awarded for pain and suffering like there may be in an automobile accident or medical malpractice case. The trade-off is with a work-related injury, the employer must pay for the employee’s lost wages and medical expenses while the employee is undergoing medical treatment for the injury.
Other Frequently Asked Workers’ Compensation Questions
If you are like most people who have been injured at work you probably have a lot of questions about the entire workers’ compensation process. Questions like how much your case is worth, whether you can sue your employer, how long your case will last and other common questions. To try to help answer these and many other questions we have put together our frequently asked workers’ compensation questions page. Check it out – we think you’ll find it helpful!