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What is the Average Settlement for Permanent Partial Disability - morgan and morgan
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Average Settlement for Permanent Partial Disability

What is the Average Settlement for Permanent Partial Disability?

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Average Settlement for Permanent Partial Disability

A serious and permanent work injury can change an individual’s life forever. Fortunately, most employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they get hurt at work. If you suffered a significant injury on the job and now have a permanent impairment, you could be entitled to a settlement for permanent partial disability (PPD). While there is no average settlement for a permanent partial disability claim, you could receive a lump-sum settlement or ongoing payments to cover income loss, medical bills, and other expenses. 
The process of recovering a PPD settlement can be complex. If you struggle to recover what you deserve or have your claim denied, not all is lost. You could still recover what you need and deserve to go on with your life. The dedicated workers’ comp attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can be here for you and fight for a fair PPD settlement on your behalf. Get started now and contact us for a free case review.

Common Injuries That Could Qualify for Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent partial disability can occur with many types of injuries and medical conditions. Injuries that could qualify for PPD benefits can include but are not limited to:

  • Back injuries
  • Amputations
  • Hearing loss
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Nerve damage
  • Burns
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (in some states)

However, before you can recover any types of workers’ compensation payments for your injuries, including PPD benefits, you must meet the following basic criteria:

  1. Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance cover
  2. You are classified as an employee
  3. Your injury or condition happened at work and is eligible for workers’ comp benefits
  4. You have filed a workers’ comp claim according to your state’s requirements

It is critical to report your work injury immediately and file a claim as soon as possible. 

Permanent Partial Disability Impairment Ratings 

A common way to calculate PPD benefits is with an impairment rating designed to establish the extent of an individual’s disability. Doctors typically use “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment,” published by the American Medical Association (AMA), to assess the degree of a patient’s impairment. 

However, evaluating impairment can be somewhat subjective and depends on a doctor’s opinion. Potentially, two doctors could determine two different disability ratings. It is important to note that workers can only recover PPD benefits once a doctor has assigned them with a PPD rating.

Whole-Body Injuries 

Whole-body injuries tend to be more severe and can involve the back, head, spinal cord, organs, and other conditions. Mental injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder are, in some states, also classified as whole-body injury. 

A person who receives a whole-body impairment rating can typically recover benefits based on their age and previous income. PPD benefits for a whole-body injury will depend on the actual impairment rating and other facts of a claim. 

Extremity Injuries

Extremity injuries can describe the loss of an extremity or, for example, neurological injuries, burns, injuries to hands and feet, and others. Victims of extremity injuries can generally recover workers’ comp benefits based on the severity of their injury rather than their age or income prior to the injury. 

You Can Get a Second Opinion

The assessed degree of your disability will be vital for calculating benefit payments. If you feel that the impairment rating you received is unfair, consider getting a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing. While doctors should be impartial, there can be conflicts of interest when they are working for an insurance company or your employer.

Do not let the workers’ comp insurer get away with paying you less than what you deserve or with denying your claim. Our workers’ comp attorneys are committed to protecting workers’ legal rights and can leave no stone unturned in fighting for what you deserve.

Compensation Available for Permanent Partial Disability

Every PPD settlement is unique. The amount of compensation recoverable can depend on your state’s workers’ comp administration and other considerations. While it can be challenging to put a number on an average settlement for a permanent partial disability claim, factors that will determine the value of your claim can include: 

  • The extent and permanence of your injuries
  • The degree of disability or impairment 
  • The amount of your medical expenses and expected future medical costs
  • Whether you can work again 

A settlement offer can include amounts for estimated future medical bills related to your disability, or terms could spell out that you are expected to pay medical bills in the future.

It can be vital to talk any PPD settlement offers through with a workers’ comp attorney before making a decision. Your attorney can negotiate a fair and comprehensive settlement with the insurance company and ensure that you are not getting short-changed.

Crucially, once you accepted a settlement and signed the release form, you generally waive rights to any further PPD benefits or payments. Therefore, if your condition worsens or turns out to be more serious later on, you may not be able to recover additional payments. An attorney can liaise with medical professionals to estimate your future medical expenses and protect your rights. 

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Permanent Partial Disability FAQs

  • When will My Disability Benefits Start?

    Once you have received a PPD impairment rating from a doctor, your employer should start paying PPD benefits no later than within a month of your rating. After getting the rating, your employer's insurance company should get in touch with you regarding a lump-sum settlement or weekly/biweekly payments. 

    You are entitled to receive your settlement in a timely fashion. If your employer’s insurance company is dragging its heels or questioning your PPD rating, a workers’ comp attorney can potentially speed things up and help remove stumbling blocks. 

  • What Is the Difference Between a Lump Sum and a Structured Settlement?

    Workers who suffered permanently disabling injuries on the job could potentially qualify for a lump-sum payment or a structured settlement.

    A lump-sum settlement generally describes a single payment representing full closure of the workers’ comp claim. On the other hand, a structured settlement is usually paid in installments over several years and can provide a disabled worker with a long-term tax-free income. 

  • What Is the Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability?

    Workers’ compensation provides benefits for those who got hurt at work or developed a health condition due to their job. Social Security disability benefits, on the other hand, provide benefits to anyone who qualifies, regardless of their employment situation. 

    However, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, an individual generally has to have worked and paid taxes for at least ten years, although rules for qualifying for Social Security benefits can vary depending on an individual’s circumstances. 

  • Can I Receive Workers’ Comp and Social Security Benefits?

    In theory, you could collect both workers’ comp and disability benefits simultaneously. However, individuals with a partial disability are unlikely to fulfill the qualifying criteria for Social Security disability benefits. Benefits under the program are generally only available to individuals who have a total disability and cannot work in any capacity again.  

    To receive disability benefits from Social Security, an individual must prove:

    • Inability to work due to a significant medical condition that lasts at least one year or is expected to result in death. 


    • A medical condition preventing them from doing their previous job AND from taking on any other work.  

    There is also a cap or reduction in payments that you could recover if you are collecting benefits from both workers’ comp and Social Security. When both benefits are combined, they generally should not exceed 80 percent of an individual’s average weekly wage. 

  • How Long Can I Receive Permanent Partial Disability Benefits?

    Each state has its own rules when it comes to how long you could recover PPD benefits. Generally, the length and value of benefits you could recover will depend on two main factors:

    • Your disability or impairment rating
    • Which part of your body is affected 

    While total permanent disability benefits typically last until the end of an individual’s life, PPD benefits are considered temporary rather than permanent benefits in most states. An attorney can advise you on the rules that apply in your particular state.

  • Do I Need an Attorney to Receive a Settlement for Permanent Partial Disability?

    Catastrophic and life-changing injuries can threaten the financial stability of an individual and their family. Fighting for what you need without involving an attorney, while not impossible, can be challenging. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can fight for the best possible outcome of your claim while protecting your rights and best interests at all times. 

    Generally, insurance companies have their own interests at heart and not those of injured employees. They may try to reduce or even deny PPD claims, especially when the stakes are high. You could be pushed into accepting a settlement that later turns out to be inadequate, potentially leaving you out of pocket.

    Our compassionate workers’ comp attorneys understand the hardships individuals and families face with a permanently disabling injury. Our lawyers comprehend the complexities of disability ratings and know how to pursue what you deserve. Moreover, we do not charge any fees unless and until you receive a settlement.

  • How Can a Workers’ Comp Attorney Help Me?

    Workers’ comp attorneys advocate for permanently injured workers who struggle to recover what they deserve. They can also help individuals who had their PPD claims denied.  

    Providing Legal Counsel and Guidance

    Our lawyers handle a variety of PPD claims and can walk individuals through the steps they need to take to recover what they deserve. 

    Gather Critical Evidence for Your Claim

    PPD claims can get stuck in the system due to insufficient medical evidence or an inaccurate impairment rating. Moreover, even if your claim is approved, you could struggle to recover all the benefits you are entitled to. An attorney can help you gather the necessary medical evidence and help you get a second opinion if your impairment rating is inaccurate or unfair.  

    A workers’ comp lawyer can also collect other relevant evidence for your claim. Once they analyze your PPD case, an attorney can determine which types of evidence can help to achieve the best possible outcome.

    Negotiate a Fair Settlement

    Without an experienced attorney by your side when it comes to settlement negotiations, you could potentially leave money on the table. An attorney can investigate your claim comprehensively and determine a fair settlement amount based on various factors, including:

    • The extent of your permanent disability and limitations 
    • Past medical expenses and future expected healthcare costs
    • An employer owing you previous wages or wage loss benefits

    Attorneys know the tactics that insurance companies employ to try and reduce your settlement and can negotiate aggressively on your behalf.  

    Represent You Strongly at Workers' Comp Hearings or at Trial

    If your claim is denied or you are unable to recover an adequate settlement with the workers’ comp insurer, your case can proceed to administrative hearings and, eventually, a trial. Your attorney can represent your case in the strongest terms at hearings and trial and ensure all relevant paperwork is submitted correctly and on time. 

  • How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Attorney Cost?

    Most workers' comp attorneys do not charge any upfront fees and work with a so-called “contingency fee arrangement,” meaning they only get paid if you recover a settlement. Moreover, many states limit workers’ comp attorneys fees with average settlements for permanent partial disability. 

    When we take on your PPD case, you do not have to pay Morgan & Morgan a dime unless and until we win and you recover a settlement. 

  • Morgan & Morgan Can Fight for You

    Morgan & Morgan is committed to helping disabled employees stand up to powerful insurance companies and employers reluctant to pay out adequate settlements. We understand the potentially devastating physical, emotional, and financial impact of a serious injury on individuals and their families. 

    You can take action today to protect your PPD benefits. Our determined attorneys can be here for you and fight for your rights to an adequate settlement. Contact us now to find out about your options. 

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Last updated on May 11, 2023

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