How Much Is a Workers' Comp Settlement for Multiple Injuries?
January 31, 2024 · 4 min read
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), more than 100,000 workplace injuries impacted multiple body parts. That’s nearly 1 in 15 of all workplace injuries. About 35% of those injured workers ended up missing at least a month of work.1
Luckily, workers’ compensation is available to cover medical bills and lost wages related to work injuries. More complex injuries, like those affecting multiple body parts, could also end in large settlements. Below we’ll cover what to expect from a workers’ comp settlement and where to go if you need help.
How much is the average workers' comp multiple injury settlement?
National Safety Council (NSC) data shows that, on average, workers’ comp cases involving multiple injuries cost $62,257. That breaks down to $32,271 as a medical care payment and $29,986 as a general indemnity payment. After head and neck injuries, these are the most expensive workers’ compensation claims on average.2
These are only payouts for the average case, though. Multiple injury claims are tricky to estimate because what you get is largely determined by which parts of your body are affected and how severe your injuries are. For example, injuries to the head and spine could be worth $100,000 while injuries to a foot and ankle could settle for about $30,000. Any preexisting conditions or complications could also increase recovery time and your possible payout.
For help understanding your potential payout, we also have settlement guides for these specific body parts:
You deserve a fair workers' comp settlement. Atticus can help.
Do all injuries qualify for workers’ comp?
They might. Workers’ comp eligibility doesn’t depend on what body part got injured or whose fault the injury was. It hinges on whether you got hurt while carrying out your job duties. So as long as your injury resulted from doing your job and you reported it to your employer as soon as possible, you can qualify for workers compensation.
You do need to be a regular employee (meaning you get a W-2 form during tax season) to be eligible under your employer’s policy. You most likely aren’t covered if you’re an independent contractor or freelancer.
Examples of workers’ comp injuries
Sometimes, multiple injury claims center around related injuries, such as a head and neck injury you suffered in a car crash. Other times, you might develop a secondary injury after a workplace accident. For example, if you hurt your knee on the job and develop a limp that contributes to a back problem, those conditions can get you benefits. Injuries like chemical burns that lead to respiratory conditions or other illnesses can also qualify.
Some of the most common workers’ comp injuries include:
When will workers’ comp settle a multiple injury claim?
Generally, workers’ comp insurance companies offer a settlement when they think doing so will limit how much they have to pay out. If your multiple injuries will require a long recovery period or extensive medical care, for example, insurance may choose to offer you settlement immediately. Or you may not get an offer until you’ve recovered as much as possible, because the insurer can more easily estimate future costs at that point.
With multiple injuries, payouts can climb quickly depending on the treatments you’ll need and how each of your injuries or illnesses is progressing. That might make a settlement more appealing for the insurance company. It could also, however, make accepting that settlement less appealing for you.
Since multiple injury situations can get complicated, we recommend talking with a workers’ comp lawyer if you want help navigating the process. They’ll know how to best handle medical care and insurance company requests for your personal situation.
You can respond to a settlement offer in a few ways:
Accept the settlement as is.
Reject the settlement to continue receiving benefits.
Negotiate a larger settlement.
Before you accept any settlement offer — even if you think it’s plenty — talk with a workers’ comp lawyer. Insurers aren’t known to be overly generous and it’s likely that you could be entitled to a larger settlement value. A lawyer can help you decide if the amount you’re being offered is sufficient for what you need. That settlement needs to cover current and future medical care plus the income you’re losing while you can’t work. With multiple injuries in play, healing may take longer and maximizing your settlement will be key down the road.
How much does workers’ comp pay if I don’t settle?
Most states provide payments worth up to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage (AWW). Payments should arrive weekly or every other week depending on where you live. Exactly how much you get comes down to your state laws, so start with our guide to workers’ comp payments by state.
Additionally, the insurance company will pay for all necessary medical care. That includes doctor visits, copays, medications, surgeries, medical equipment, and anything else ordered by your treating physician.
You can usually expect these benefits to last until you return to work, reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), or sign a settlement contract. MMI is the stage when your doctor believes your injuries won’t improve even if you get more treatment. If you reach MMI but still can’t return to work or have a permanent disability, you can transition to long-term workers’ comp payments. Also called permanent disability benefits, how much you get and how long they last will depend on what parts of your body are injured and the impairment rating given by your doctor.
Do I need a workers’ comp lawyer?
You don’t need a lawyer. You can choose to interface directly with your employer and their insurance company. However, handling multiple injuries isn’t always easy and you can bet that the insurance company will have its own lawyers handling any settlement negotiations.
Talking with a lawyer can make a big difference. They’ll handle paperwork, help you plan medical care, and negotiate with the insurance for you. Even if you just need help understanding your options, a good lawyer will offer a free consultation and will never charge anything until after you get your settlement.
Atticus can connect you with an experienced lawyer in your area. Fill out our 3-minute questionnaire to get started and someone from our team will reach out to learn more about your work injuries.
Call us to get help with your workers' comp claim today.
Common questions about multiple injury claims
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.
Can multiple injuries qualify for workers’ comp at the same time?
If your injuries are serious enough that you need to miss work and you report them to your employer quickly, they could qualify for workers’ comp. Related and connected injuries will fall under the same claim but if you have fully separate injuries, you may be eligible for more than one claim. Here’s how long you have to report a work injury in your state.
How much will my settlement be for multiple injuries?
The average workers’ comp settlement for a multiple injuries is about $62,200 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 surgeries increase my workers’ comp settlement?
It depends. Surgeries could increase your potential settlement if they don't lead to a quick recovery or if you have complications. But they could decrease your potential settlement if your symptoms or recovery time greatly improve. 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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