If you’re filing a worker’s compensation case, you are not alone. In 2017 so far, there have been twenty-nine thousand four hundred and thirty-seven cases. That’s right: 29,437. In all of 2016, there were 58,817. There were even more in some previous years.
The average benefits doled out to workers:
Average settlement: $10,762
Average benefits: $14,702
Worker’s comp varies greatly from state to state. There are no federal minimums governing worker’s compensation. Similar cases in different states have disparities in payouts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to NPR, “The loss of an arm… is worth up to $48,840 in Alabama, $193,950 in Ohio and $439,858 in Illinois. The big toe ranges from $6,090 in California to $90,401.88 in Oregon.”
The effects are noticeable. In Georgia in 2014, the average indemnity benefits were $26,471. In Florida, that number was $6,354. That’s a nearly $20,000 difference in average payout. Total benefits in Georgia was in the trillions, while Florida was in the low billions. Even though Florida had significantly more cases.
Compensation rates are more political than sensical. Often rates are changed to attract new businesses to an area. In some states, worker’s compensation is not nearly enough to cover the ultimate cost of gaining a physical disability. Even in states with high compensation, it can be just enough to prevent the worker from going under financially. Regardless, you want to be able to get the highest compensation possible.
Laws in Florida don’t necessarily do the best they can for the worker. Sometimes, they shortchange the workers. For example, even though compensation is low in Florida, they have relatively high worker’s comp insurance.
Luckily, Floridians don’t live in Alabama, which has a famously low compensation rate. The cap weekly benefits are only $220.
To defeat the odds and gain a high payout in Florida, you have to have a strong case and plenty of evidence. This means you need an excellent attorney looking out for you to get the highest payout possible.