Workers’ Comp Settlement: Factors Affecting Amounts (2024)

A workers' comp settlement can provide an essential lifeline for injured workers. Learn the factors that affect workers’ comp settlement amounts.

Sarah Edwards


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 3 mins

Average Workers' Settlement Amounts in U.S., 2020-2021

Discover key insights into workers' compensation settlements, covering average amounts, key factors, and industry trends.

How Workers’ Compensation Works

Workers' compensation is a vital safety net for employees who suffer injuries on the job. It provides medical benefits and disability payments to cover a portion of the worker’s lost wages. Understanding the average workers' comp settlement can help both employers and employees navigate the complexities of workplace injuries.

Keep in mind that these numbers may be significantly lower than personal injury settlements for similar injuries. Personal injury claims cover additional losses not covered by workers’ comp, such as the worker’s full wage losses and pain and suffering losses.

Average Workers' Comp Settlement Overview

The average total incurred cost per claim combines medical expenses and disability benefits to reflect the comprehensive burden of workplace injuries. According to the latest data, the average cost across all claims stands at $41,757, with medical costs averaging $22,203 and indemnity payments averaging $19,554.

Factors Affecting Workers’ Comp Settlement Amounts

Understanding the average workers' comp settlement provides a baseline for estimating a generic claim. However, the amount you can expect for your claim depends on many factors, including:

  • The severity of your injury
  • The body part affected
  • The impact of your injury on your ability to perform your job

More severe injuries will justify greater workers’ comp benefits. For example, a severed finger will receive a bigger workers’ comp payout than a broken finger.

Similarly, the payout will depend on the body part affected. Thus, a broken finger will not receive as much as a broken leg.

Finally, your ability to work during recovery will affect your disability benefits. This factor depends on your injury and your job.

Do I Qualify for

Accident Compensation?
Free Case Review

Costliest Causes of Injury

Average Workers' Compensation by Injury, 2020-2021

Average Settlement Per Claim by Body Part, Injury Nature, and Cause - WCSP Data for 2020-2021 in NCCI Ratemaking States.

Source: National Council on Compensation Insurance (2023)

  • Burns: Burn injuries follow, with an average settlement amount of $52,161, indicating the severe nature of these injuries and the extensive treatment they often require.
  • Falls/Slips and Caught: Falls or slips result in an average settlement of $49,971, while injuries from being caught in or between objects average $47,076, both of which exceed the overall claim average.

Settlements for Other Injuries

Injuries from being struck by objects, strains, and cumulative injuries present lower average costs but still constitute a significant financial consideration within the workers' comp landscape.

Worker Settlement Costs by Body Part

Average Workers' Compensation by Body Part, 2020-2021

Average total incurred costs per claim by part of body, nature of injury, and cause of injury - Using WCSP Data as of Latest Report Available for Accident Years 2020-2021 and states where NCCI provides ratemaking services.

Source: National Safety Council

While it may seem morbid to consider workers’ comp settlement body part prices, the payout will vary depending on the injury location.

From 2020 to 2021, data on workers' compensation claims in the U.S. reveal significant variances in average total incurred costs per claim across different body parts. A payout workers' comp settlement chart from the National Safety Council (NSC) reveals that head and central nervous system injuries topped the list with $94,285, followed by neck injuries at $65,659, and injuries involving multiple body parts. According to the NSC, these types of injuries are also relatively rare.

Learn More About Workers’ Comp From ConsumerShield

Workers’ comp provides an essential lifeline for workers with on-the-job injuries. However, the amounts paid vary widely depending on the injury.

ConsumerShield educates injured workers about their legal rights and options. Contact us for a free case review and a referral to a lawyer to pursue any legal claims you have.

Sarah Edwards's profile picture

Sarah Edwards


Sarah Edwards is a seasoned legal writer with more than a decade of experience.

Stay up to date

Get updates on all of our legal news on lawsuits, research and legal updates.