Workers' Comp Payouts Vary Wildly from State to State
As reported by NPR, the amount of compensation someone can expect to receive from a workplace injury varies a great deal from state to state.
As the NPR story relates, two men who lived within 75 miles of each other both suffered serious workplace injuries in their mid-20s. Each man lost part of his left arm in an accident.
One of the men received only $45,000 in workers’ compensation. The other will receive benefits that could total more than $740,000 over the course of his life.
The main difference between the men was where they lived. One lived in Alabama, which has the lowest workers comp benefits for amputations in the US. The other man lived in Georgia, which offers more generous workers’ comp benefits for catastrophic injuries.
The U.S. Congress allows each state to determine how much will be paid out in workers compensation benefits. Unlike with the federal minimum wage, there are no federal minimums for workers’ compensation benefits.
Most states have a “schedule of benefits” that describes compensation for injuries to different parts of the body.
For example, the loss of the big toe can be worth as little as $6,090 in California to over $90,000 in Oregon.
Across the country, workers compensation benefits have decreased and employers are paying less for workers compensation insurance. Some states have reduced workers’ compensation rates in order to create a more welcoming business climate.
If you want to find out what a workplace injury might be worth in New Jersey, you can click here. For example, in New Jersey the compensation for the loss of the big toe is $11,856. Compensation for the loss of one arm is $268,983, well above the national average. Compensation for the loss of an eye is $102,600, slightly above the national average.
When dealing with injuries that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation, settlements and damage awards can vary more widely. An experienced personal injury lawyer can give you a ballpark idea of what to expect.
If you or your family member have suffered an injury at work or due to someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the New Jersey Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for help.