What is the Average Workers’ Comp
Settlement Amount in Missouri?

Missouri’s workers’ compensation system is complex, and it’s perfectly normal to have a lot of questions as you go through the process.

Naturally, one of the most common questions we hear is, “What’s the average workers’ comp settlement amount?” In this guide, we’ll walk through various factors influencing settlement amounts, the role of insurance companies and the importance of having strong legal representation in your corner.

As always, this guide provides generalized information. If you have specific questions or need help with a specific case, your best bet is to reach out to an experienced Missouri workers’ comp lawyer. Contact the attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse for your free case review at 314-241-1919.

What happens after you are injured at work

After a worker is injured on the job, the process typically begins with immediate medical treatment, followed by reporting the injury to their employer.

The employer then notifies their workers’ compensation insurance provider, and a claim is filed. The injured worker’s medical treatment continues until they reach “Maximum Medical Improvement,” at which point a doctor issues a rating that signifies their level of permanent disability. This rating influences the benefits the worker may receive, and the workers’ comp insurance company might make a settlement offer with the worker.

It’s important to note that accepting a settlement offer will close your case completely. At that point, the insurance company will have no more responsibility to pay you any additional compensation. If you have questions and are not ready to settle, then don’t.

Understanding workers’ comp claims in Missouri

In Missouri, after medical treatment for a work-related injury concludes and you’re deemed to be at “Maximum Medical Improvement,” the doctor will issue a rating. This rating, based on the doctor’s medical opinion, signifies your disability level and is categorized as either Permanent Total Disability (PTD) or Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). The former implies you cannot return to any employment, while the latter suggests you can work, albeit with permanent physical complaints and possible limitations.

The doctor’s rating is a subjective opinion based on their experience with similar cases. If you’re deemed PTD, you may receive weekly benefits for life or until you’re no longer permanently and totally disabled. Alternatively, a lump sum settlement may be agreed upon. If you’re determined to be PPD, your benefits are usually paid in a lump sum, calculated using a three-part formula.

Missouri permanent partial disability formula

The formula’s first part depends on the injured body part, with a certain number of weeks or units assigned to each injured part. The second part is based on the percentage of your permanent partial disability related to the injured part. The third part is based on your compensation rate, generally 2/3 of your average weekly wage at the time of injury, subject to a maximum limit.

To illustrate, if you had a shoulder injury (assigned 232 weeks) with a 10% disability and an average weekly wage of $600, the formula would be: 232 (weeks) x 10% (disability) x $400 (compensation rate) = $9,280.

Practically speaking, the average workers’ comp settlement in Missouri for permanent disability falls between $2,000 to $40,000, but depending on the facts of the case, some can settle for millions. You can view the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Chart for exact settlement amounts.

The role of insurance companies in workers’ comp settlements

Insurance companies play a key role in workers’ comp settlements, typically seeking to reduce payouts. They provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to employers and oversee the evaluation of claims when an employee is injured on the job, determining the extent of the injury and calculating the appropriate compensation. They may negotiate with the injured worker or their legal representative to reach a settlement amount. Additionally, the insurance company is responsible for the payment of medical expenses, lost wages and any other benefits outlined in the workers’ compensation policy.

Insurance companies may endeavor to reduce payouts by denying claims, postponing payments or proffering low settlement amounts. They may also seek to discredit the injured worker’s claim by questioning the severity of the injury or the cause of the injury.

This is why having legal representation in workers’ comp cases is advantageous, as it safeguards the injured worker’s rights and helps them obtain a fair settlement.

Negotiating with insurers

A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney can help you with the following:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the legal process
  • Protect your rights throughout the process
  • Ensure that you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company
  • Assist you in dealing with strategies used by insurance companies to challenge your claim, postpone payments, or present a minimal settlement amount

By hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, you can guarantee that you receive a reasonable settlement.

Tactics used by insurance companies

Insurance companies may employ strategies such as:

  • Disputing claims
  • Offering low settlements
  • Delaying approval
  • Proposing light duty
  • Disputing injuries
  • Engaging in slow procedural processing
  • Declining physician referrals
  • Risking payment penalties

Being aware of these tactics can help you better prepare for negotiations with insurance companies. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney by your side can ensure that you receive a fair settlement and that your rights are protected throughout the process.

The importance of legal representation in workers’ comp cases

In workers’ comp cases, legal representation plays a vital role in steering through the intricate process and maximizing settlement amounts. An attorney can assist in negotiating for an amount that is sufficient to cover medical expenses, both current and future, as well as other bills incurred due to lost wages. We recommend that you consult a workers’ comp lawyer when you receive a settlement offer. They can ensure that you get the maximum possible compensation.

In addition to helping with settlement negotiations, workers compensation attorneys can provide invaluable assistance throughout the entire legal process, from filing claims to representing you in hearings. Their expertise and guidance can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Types of workers’ compensation benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide financial support and medical care to injured workers. There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits available, including:

  • Medical benefits for treatment
  • Disability benefits
  • Rehabilitation benefits
  • Death benefits

These benefits help injured workers cover expenses related to their workplace injuries and support their recovery process.

Timing and duration of workers’ comp settlements

The timing and duration of workers’ comp settlements depend on various factors, such as the seriousness of the injury and case complexity. Generally, workers’ compensation settlements are resolved within a period of six months.

Factors affecting settlement timeline

The seriousness of the injury can have a considerable influence on the settlement timeline. Injuries requiring long-term medical attention or rehabilitation may take longer to settle than those requiring only short-term medical care. Insurance companies can also have a considerable influence on the settlement timeline. They may seek to defer or reject a settlement in order to reduce their expenses, and negotiations with the insurance company can be protracted, impacting the timeline of the settlement.

Having an understanding of these factors will assist you in navigating the settlement process more effectively and ensure a timely resolution of your case.

Receiving payment after settlement

Once you reach a settlement, you usually receive payment within 1-3 months. The time it takes to receive payment can vary based on factors like location and the size of the settlement. During this period, it’s crucial to stay patient and keep in touch with your attorney to get updates on your payment’s progress.

By understanding what influences the timing of your settlement payment, you can prepare for possible delays and adjust your expectations. Keep in mind that waiting for a fair settlement is worthwhile, as it can significantly improve your financial stability and recovery.

Speak with a Missouri workers’ comp attorney today

Don’t face the complex process of a workers’ comp settlement in Missouri alone. Get expert guidance and maximize your settlement benefits by consulting with a skilled Missouri workers’ comp attorney. Understand your rights, negotiate effectively with insurance companies, and ensure the settlement adequately covers all your expenses.

Don’t delay – secure the compensation you deserve. Contact Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse for your free case review at 314-241-1919 today.

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