Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart – the 2023- Ready Edition
Workers’ compensation is a crucial aspect of the legal system that ensures employees receive fair compensation for injuries sustained while working. In Florida, the workers’ compensation system revolves around a detailed settlement chart that outlines the specific compensation for different injuries to different body parts. This 2023-ready guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart so that employers and injured workers know how compensation is calculated, and what factors may influence the final settlement amount.
An Overview of Florida Workers’ Compensation System
Workers’ Compensation Basics
In the state of Florida, workers' compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment. This system is meant to protect both employers and employees by ensuring that workers receive necessary medical care and financial support, while employers are protected from potential lawsuits related to workplace injuries. You can find commonly asked questions about Workers' Compensation here.
The Role of the Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart
The Florida Workers Compensation Settlement Chart is a crucial tool in determining the amount of compensation that an injured worker may receive based on a variety of factors. These factors may include the specific type of injury or illness, the length of the disability period, the severity of the illness or injury, and other relevant details. With this tool, injured workers can get a clearer understanding of what they are entitled to, which can be incredibly helpful in the event of an injury or illness on the job.
Understanding The Florida Workers Comp Impairment Rating System
Body Part Values and Impairment Ratings
The Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart outlines various body parts affected by injuries, including head and neck, arms, legs, hands, feet, back (spine), and internal organs, and assigns specific values to them which are then multiplied by an impairment rating given by a physician. This impairment rating is a percentage that represents the extent to which the injured body part is impaired or disabled. The higher the impairment rating, the more compensation a worker may be entitled to receive.
Here is an example of what types of impairment ratings are given to different body parts:
Impairment Rating in %
Dislocation Reduced Without Fusion
Impairment of Cervical, Thoracic, or Lumbar Regions From Ankylosis
2-56% dependent on the region affected.
Hands and Fingers
Up to 40% depending on the region affected.
Up to 60%
Up to 100%
Up to 45%
Pain or Loss of Sensation
*Note: the numbers for this chart are taken directly from the 1996 Florida Uniform Permanent Impairment Rating Schedule, which can be found here. This is not a complete chart - just a brief look at what an Impairment Rating looks like. It is important to consult with an attorney when considering any workers' compensation claim. They will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date information and can help you understand the implications of accepting a settlement offer or filing an appeal.
Who Determines Permanent Impairment Ratings?
It is important to note that the impairment rating must be given by a physician, and not an adjuster or other insurance company worker. The physician will take into account the injured person’s ability for self-care, communication, movement and independence, travel, elevation capabilities, use of extremities, and the ability to carry out normal living functions.
Factors That Can Affect Compensation
In addition to the impairment rating, several other factors can influence the final settlement amount, including:
The worker's average weekly wage at the time of the injury.
The worker's age, education, and work experience.
The availability of suitable alternative employment within the worker's restrictions.
It is important here to note that when permanent disability in Florida is being determined, the Permanent Impairment Rating is not the only factor that must be considered, as it must be used in combination with Florida’s Workers Comp Settlement Chart. The settlement chart is used to calculate how much a worker should receive in compensation for a particular injury and does not take into account pain or suffering, lost wages, or other economic damages, which should be argued for at the time of settlement negotiations.
Types of Injuries and Compensation
In addition to the above factors that can impact total compensation, the type of injury and the designation of impairment (permanently, totally disabled, or permanently, partially disabled) will also affect the amount of money that an injured employee is eligible to receive.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD): When a worker is temporarily unable to perform any work due to their injury, they may be eligible for Temporary Total Disability benefits. These benefits are calculated based on a percentage of the worker's average weekly wage, typically equaling 66 2/3%, of their regular wages at the time they were hurt, subject to Florida’s maximum reimbursement amount, and are paid for the duration of the worker's disability, up to a maximum of 104 weeks.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): According to Florida Law, if a worker can return to work in a limited capacity but earns less than their pre-injury wage, they may qualify for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits. These benefits are calculated as 80% of the difference between the worker's pre-injury wage and their current wage. The benefit is limited to 104 weeks (including any weeks of temporary total benefits), or until the worker has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), whichever occurs earlier.
Permanent Impairment Benefits (PIB): When a worker reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) but has a permanent impairment, whether that is classified as a permanent but totally disabled or permanent but partially impaired, may qualify for Permanent Impairment Benefits (PIB). These benefits are based on the percentage of permanent impairment or loss of use that is determined by their treating physician and is calculated using the Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart.
Calculating Permanent Impairment Benefits
To calculate Permanent Impairment Benefits, the impairment rating is multiplied by a specific number of weeks outlined in the settlement chart. This total number of weeks is then multiplied by the worker's average weekly wage, resulting in the final compensation amount. Here is what the Permanent Impairment Rating Weeks Chart looks like:
Permanent Impairment Rating in %
# of Weeks’ Pay/Percentage Point
Total Weeks’ Pay
35+4/point over 15
55+6/point over 20
So, in looking at the above chart, you’ll see that if you have an impairment rating of anywhere between 1-10%, you would get 2 weeks’ pay for each percentage point. An easy example here is if you had an impairment rating of 10% and your weekly wage is $500, you would receive $10,000 in Permanent Impairment Benefits.
However, if you’re above that 10% impairment rating, there’s an additional amount of weeks given to you, based on the percentages and it works like this: from 11-15%, you get 20 weeks for the first 10% and then an additional 3 weeks/percentage point above 10; likewise, at 16-20% you would get 35 weeks for the first 15% and 4 weeks/percentage point above 15, and from 21-100% you would get 61 weeks for the first 21 percentage points, and 6 weeks/percentage point above 20, up to the maximum compensation amount.
Factors That Can Impact Settlement Amounts
Maximum Compensation Limits
Florida law imposes maximum compensation limits for workers' compensation benefits, which can affect the final settlement amount. These limits may change periodically and should be considered when calculating potential compensation. Examples for 2023 of maximum compensation amounts per body part in the State of Florida:
In some cases, a worker's benefits may be reduced if the individual is found to have contributed to their injury or if they fail to comply with certain requirements, such as attending medical appointments or participating in vocational rehabilitation.
Claim Disputes and Legal Representation
Disputing a Settlement Offer
If a worker believes their settlement offer is insufficient, they may choose to dispute the offer and seek additional compensation. This process typically involves negotiations between the worker's attorney and the insurance adjuster, with the possibility of mediation or a hearing before a judge if an agreement cannot be reached.
Hiring a Workers' Compensation Attorney Is a Must
Navigating the complexities of the Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart and the workers' compensation system can be overwhelming. Furthermore, the insurance company may attempt to minimize a worker's claim and deny them an appropriate settlement. Workers should always consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in workers' compensation law in Florida before accepting any settlement offer. An attorney will help ensure that workers are fairly compensated for their injuries, assist them in filing all necessary paperwork, and represent them at any hearings or mediations. Moreover, they will be able to use the Florida Workers Comp Settlement Chart and other resources to provide evidence that workers should receive full compensation for their injuries.
The workers' compensation system in Florida is complex and requires navigating a wide variety of regulations, laws, and statutes and for injured workers, this can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are experienced attorneys who specialize in workers' compensation claims and can help injured workers take advantage of the benefits they are entitled to. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, contact Frank Eidson today for a free consultation. He will evaluate your case and guide you through the complicated process of filing a claim, negotiating for fair compensation, and ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of benefits you are eligible for. Call today at 407-245-2887, and let Frank Eidson help to protect your rights.
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