L&I Settlement Amounts
Sometimes, when a person is injured at work, the party liable for damages realizes that it’s best for everyone involved if they just settle the matter and move on. Pushing things all the way through litigation can take a very long time, and expenses pile up for the defense while this occurs.
This same type of thinking is present when it comes to L&I claims. L&I settlement amounts vary widely, but Washington L&I has the power and authority to settle any workers’ compensation claim. L&I settlements typically fall into three categories:
- Structured Settlements
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Below you’ll find a breakdown of each of these categories to help you obtain a deeper perspective on how L&I settlement amounts are calculated and how they can vary in real-life situations.
A lifetime L&I pension (also known as Permanent Total Disability Pension) is a lifetime annuity payment, paid monthly, and based on the amount of the injured worker’s wage at the time of injury and the amount of his or her dependents. You may be entitled to a pension if you meet the following criteria:
- You sustained a workplace injury that is permanent and totally disabling
- You are unable to ever return to work
When it comes to L&I settlement amounts, negotiating this type of payout is going to be quite involved. It’s highly advisable that you work with an experienced L&I attorney if you were injured on the job and you’re permanently disabled to the point where you cannot return to work.
A structured settlement is a lump sum payment intended to permanently settle a workers’ compensation claim for a serious injury. L&I uses structured settlements in place of pensions to avoid pension payments or when a worker is not eligible for a pension. The amount of the structured settlement varies widely and depends on a number of important factors, such as:
- The age of the injured worker (50+)
- The type and severity of the injury
- The threat of litigation if both sides cannot agree on the amount of the settlement
- The reputation of the attorney leading the negotiation
- The likelihood of the claimant prevailing
- The opportunity for the claimant to pursue a pension if a settlement is not reached
This is one of the many situations when working with our firm is helpful for an injured client. Our reputation precedes us, and when we get involved in a matter the other side understands that this is a situation to be taken seriously. Having the right attorney at your side can affect L&I settlement amounts and the time it takes to successfully negotiate a resolution.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
This is a one-time payment to compensate an injured worker for his or her work injury when the injury isn’t permanently disabling. The Permanent Partial Disability settlement payment is typically based on the type and severity of the injury. There are additional factors that often determine whether L&I will accept a PPD claim and the total amount that L&I is willing to pay, including:
- The level of support from the injured worker’s physician
- Whether an independent medical examination (IME) agrees or disagrees with the physician’s opinion
- The type of injury
- The severity of the injury, also known as the “rating”
The amount that L&I will agree to pay for a PPD varies widely depending on what it considers to be the correct rating. For example, for a dorsolumbar injury, there is a 15x difference between a category 2 and a category 8 PPD rating. This means that a claimant with a category 8 injury of this type would receive approximately $150,000 more than one with a category 2 rating (based on the 2020-21 L&I PPD Schedule). L&I often undervalues claims by using an independent medical examination report to support a lower category rating. If you disagree with the IME report or L&I decision, contact an L&I attorney.
Don’t Go It Alone
Trying to navigate the complexities of settlements can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when you’re injured or ill. The L&I attorneys at Emery Reddy have decades of combined experience fighting for the rights of injured workers. We have tried thousands of workers’ compensation claims throughout Washington state, and we regularly obtain claim approvals, benefits, and exceptionally large awards for our clients. You don’t have to do this alone—give us a call today for a free consultation.
We will analyze your situation and give you the information you need instead of what you may want or hope to hear. When it comes to L&I settlement amounts, it all starts with that first step towards a financial recovery. Contact us today to get the process of protecting and enforcing your legal rights started.