How Much Is a Workers' Comp Ankle Injury Settlement?
January 31, 2024 · 4 min read
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Nearly 54,000 Americans injured their ankles while at work in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 They were out of work for an average of 12 days, though 33% of cases required a month or more for recovery. If you’ve injured your ankle on the job, you could qualify for weekly wage replacement payments and medical coverage through workers’ compensation. You may also be able to negotiate a big workers’ comp settlement depending on how serious your injury is and how long you’re out of work while recovering.
How much is the average workers' comp ankle injury settlement?
Workers who settled with workers’ comp for an ankle injury received an average of $30,720, according to 2023 data from the National Safety Council (NSC). That includes a $14,159 indemnity payment from the insurance company and $16,561 for medical care.2
While these amounts give you an idea of possible settlement values, your ankle injury could result in a smaller or larger payment. Your personal settlement amount is based on the type of ankle injury you have, how serious your injury is, and how long your injury is expected to keep you from working. If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, negotiating a higher payout could be easier. You could also negotiate a higher settlement if you have injuries to other body parts — like your foot or leg — or if you have another condition that complicates your recovery time.
NSC data shows that a fracture tends to receive a larger settlement — $62,240 on average — than a cut or a sprain since those injuries typically resolve quickly and with minimal medical intervention. On the other end of the spectrum, injuries resulting in amputation lead to average settlements of about $126,000.
You deserve a fair workers' comp settlement. Atticus can help.
Do all ankle injuries qualify for workers’ comp?
All ankle injuries can qualify if they happened because of your work and leave you unable to work for at least a few days. You must also report your injury to your employer quickly, usually within three to seven days. Qualifying for workers’ comp is challenging or impossible if you miss the reporting deadline.
Independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers generally don’t qualify for workers’ comp. That’s true even in cases of serious injury.
Examples of workers’ comp ankle injuries
You can receive workers’ comp for any injury that causes weakness, pain, stiffness, loss of motion, or decreased range of motion in one or both ankles. Many people who qualify also have injuries affecting more than their ankles, like their knees, legs, and feet.
Below are a few common ankle injuries that are eligible for benefits:
When does workers’ comp offer a settlement for an ankle injury?
Not all ankle injuries result in a settlement. The longer your injury will keep you out of work and the more medical care it requires, the more likely it is the insurance company will offer to settle. Chronic illness and injuries have higher potential for a settlement offer.
With most claims, your insurance will wait until you reach MMI, or maximum medical improvement. That’s the point where more medical care won’t improve your condition. For workers who reach MMI but still require regular or serious treatment, insurance may want to settle instead of continuing your payments for months or years more.
If you’re offered a settlement for your ankle injury, you have a few options:
Accept the settlement offer.
Reject the settlement offer and continue receiving benefits.
Negotiate a higher settlement amount.
Any of the above could all be good options depending on your situation. But before you decide, it’s useful to have a clear sense of your future medical care and how your injury will impact your ability to work in the future. Since neither of those is easy to estimate, we recommend discussing your offer with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
An experienced workers’ comp lawyer will be able to calculate a fair settlement amount based on your specific ankle injury, your job, the cost of medical care in your area, and other factors. In particular, a good local lawyer will know medical professionals who can effectively estimate how long your ankle injury will affect your ability to return to work.
The truth is that what qualifies as a fair settlement will depend on your personal circumstances. In general, your goal is to secure a payout that’s large enough to cover your current and future medical expenses, lost work income, and all the other living expenses you’ll need to pay while out of work. These are all costs your lawyer can determine for you and will consider while negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. A good workers’ comp lawyer will also offer a free consultation. Even if you sign with them, they won’t charge you anything upfront. (Here’s more on how much a lawyer costs.)
How much does workers’ comp pay if I don’t settle?
Your payments will last until you reach MMI, return to your job, or agree to a settlement with the insurance company. If you reach MMI but you can’t return to work and you don’t agree to a settlement, you may transition to long-term workers’ comp benefits. These are called permanent disability benefits in most places. How much you get and how long they last will depend largely on the impairment rating that your treating physician assigns after you reach MMI.
You don’t need a workers’ comp lawyer but having one can greatly simplify the process, particularly if your employer or their insurance company wants you to take a settlement. Lawyers know how to determine a sufficient settlement amount based on your specific ankle injury, your industry, and where you live. They’ll also negotiate that settlement deal for you, so you don’t have to deal with the insurance company or its legal team directly.
If you work with an Atticus Lawyer, you’ll receive a free initial consultation and you won’t pay anything upfront. You’ll only pay your lawyer after you’ve gotten your settlement.
Call us to get help with your workers' comp claim today.
Common questions about workers’ comp ankle injuries
Who qualifies for workers’ comp?
Most full-time and part-time workers can qualify for workers’ comp, but independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers don’t usually qualify.
How much will my settlement be for an ankle injury?
The average workers’ comp settlement for an ankle injury is about $30,700 nationally, but you could get much more or less depending on your situation. If you want to maximize your settlement, contact an Atticus workers’ comp attorney. Settlements with our attorneys are twice as high as claims without an attorney, on average.
Should I accept a workers’ comp settlement?
It depends on your personal situation. Negotiating is best in many cases, but we recommend getting a lawyer’s opinion before you make any decision. They can help you negotiate enough to cover your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other bills while you’re out of work.
Will ankle surgery increase my workers’ comp settlement?
It depends. Ankle surgery could increase your potential settlement if it doesn’t lead to a recovery or if you have complications. But it could decrease your potential settlement if it greatly improves your symptoms or recovery time. Get a more detailed answer in our guide to when surgery increases workers’ comp settlements.
Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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