DeCiccio & Johnson
The difference between a State of FL workers’ comp settlement and a personal injury settlement
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT
In a workers’ compensation settlement, there are two buckets of benefits that determine the value of your case for settlement: (1) compensation or money and (2) medical care.
The compensation bucket: This includes past compensation that may be due, and future compensation you might be entitled to. There are four types of compensation: temporary total disability (unable to do any work), temporary partial disability (under restriction and not at maximum medical improvement or MMI), permanent impairment benefits (tied to an impairment rating after MMI, e.g., 5% equals 10 weeks), and permanent total disability ( the most valuable, compensation ends at age 75, basically unable to work).
The medical bucket: This could include past medical bills, the reasonable cost of medically necessary and causally related future medical care and treatment, medical tests, surgery, pain injections, medical mileage, medicine, and attendant care.
There must be proof you are entitled to the benefits. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation does not include your pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life, interference with your marriage, or pay you for the physical, social, or recreational activities you cannot do because of your work injury.
PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT
This includes cases like auto crashes, slip and fall accidents, injuries from general negligence of others, physical assaults, and many other cases.
Unlike workers’ compensation, there are two classes of recoverable damages: (1) economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include past and future lost wages, loss of earning capacity, outstanding medical bills, and the future cost of medical care and treatment.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of the ability to enjoy life, and if married damages to the marital relationship in which your married spouse has a claim. THESE DAMAGES ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT.