Sometimes handling a workers comp case the "normal way" doesn't work. Most cases are awarded a certain percentage of what the injured body part is worth. But what about cases with significant, permanent wage loss?
Illinois workers compensation provides some injured workers with another option called Wage Differential. This helps higher wage workers who can no longer make as much money because of their injury. Wage differential awards 2/3 of the difference between the worker's current wages and what they would have been making in their old job.
In other words, imagine a worker who made $100,000 before an injury, but can no longer do her old job. She took a job paying $15/hr. She would be entitled to 2/3 of the difference in her pay. This lasts until age 67 or for five years, whichever is longer.
Of course, there are difficult parts to this. It can be hard to determine what the employee would be making NOW if they were still in their old job. The defense will also argue that the worker is capable of making more money now than they currently are. These benefits can also change as circumstances change.
In settling these cases, insurance companies like to do so at a significant discount from what you would get if you won at trial and got weekly benefits. You and your attorney should discuss the pros and cons of any lump-sum offer to determine whether it's in your best interests.