Q:

How do you calculate a worker's compensation settlement in Illinois?

A:

According to Horowitz, Horowitz & Associates, the value of a claim under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act is calculated based on five factors: the reported level of impairment, the occupation of the injured employee, the age of the employee at the time of the injury, the employee's future earning capacity and the evidence of disability in the medical records. No single factor can be used to calculate a value.

The value is determined by the totality of these five factors as they relate to each individual claim. Horowitz, Horowitz & Associates notes that these five factors are contained in the amended Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, which requires the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission to base its benefit determinations on all of the factors. The reported level of impairment is determined according to section 8(e) of the Act, which is called the schedule of injuries.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission assigns each body part a number of weeks it is worth according to the date of the employee's injury. For example, a leg is assigned a maximum value of 215 weeks. An individual who breaks a leg and recovers rapidly may be offered a settlement of 5 percent of a leg. Horowitz, Horowitz & Associates further notes that settlements tend to be higher when some of the other factors have a bearing on the case, as the reported level of impairment does not take all factors contributing to the employee's financial loss into account.

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