How Many Workers Comp Claims Happen Per Year? 27+ Stats! (2024)

There were over 5,000 fatalities at work in 2020 and 4.9 million workers' compensation claims are filed every year by both private and government employees. And get this: did you know that the typical workers' compensation claim amounts to around $41,000? We will explore what workers' compensation insurance is, how many claims are filed each year, as well as employer costs for 2021 and whether or not you should have a workers' comp insurance policy if you run a small business.

Top Workers Compensation Statistics:

  • There are 4.9 million workers compensation claims made each year by both private and government employees.
  • The typical workers comp claim is around $41,000.
  • The average cost of a workers compensation claim for sprains is $34,409.
  • Falls/Slips claims costs averaged $47,681 per claim.
  • Workers' compensation costs to employers total $100.2 billion as of 2021.
  • Workers' comp claims pay out more than $62 billion each year, $31.8 billion in cash settlements and over $31.3 billion in medical benefits.


Top Workers Compensation Statistics:

Workers Compensation Claims Statistics (2022)

Workers' Compensation Denial Statistics

Workers' Compensation Fraud Statistics

Workers' Compensation Return-To-Work Statistics

Workers Compensation Insurance Statistics

Concluding Thoughts

Workers Compensation Claims Statistics (2022)

What Is Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Workers' compensation insuranceis accident coverage paid by employers. If you are injured or sickened on the job, you may receive benefits to cover medical bills or rehabilitation costs.

Workers' compensation also covers partial lost wages if you miss work. Some policies also provide death benefits if you’re killed on the job.

Workers' compensation insurance only applies if you are injured or sickened while performing the duties of your job.

How Many Workers Compensation Claims Happen Per Year?

Every year, roughly 4.9 million workers compensation claims are filed by both private and federal employees.

How Much Do Workers Comp Claims Pay Out Each Year?

Workers' compensation claims payout approximately $62 billion each year, or roughly $31.8 billion in cash payments and $31.3 billion in medical benefits (2016 estimate).

How Much Are Employers Paying in Workers Compensation Claims?

The overall employer costs for workers' compensation were $100.2 billion in 2021.

How Much Is The Average Workers Comp Claim?

The typical workers' compensation claim is about $41,000. The average cost of a sprain is $34,409, and the average cost of a fall/slip is $47,681.

How Much Are Employers Paying in Workers Compensation Claims?

The overall employer costs for workers' compensation were $100.2 billion in 2021.

How Much Are Insurers Paying in Workers Compensation Claims?

It costs businesses an average of $957 per employee a year to adhere to labor law requirements, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This amounts to approximately 1.2% of all employer compensation expenditures, which includes wages and benefits.

Related Statistics:

  • Medical losses totaled$4.6 billion, or 55% of total loss compensation, according to insurers.
  • Losses were $13.2 billion, or 82% of the premium collected in 2019.

What Types of Workers Comp Claims are Most Expensive?

According to NCCI data provided by the National Safety Council, motor-vehicle accidents are the most common cause of lost-time worker's compensation claims.

A motor-vehicle workers comp claim in 2016 and 2017 had an average cost of $78,293 per claim.

The most expensive causes of injury claims in 2016 and 2017, accounting for about a fifth of all claims, were burns ($47,878), falls or slips ($46,592), and unspecified injuries.

While motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of the most costly claims due to the nature of the injury, amputation loss time claims are the most costly by definition. In 2016 and 2017, an average of $98,126 was spent on every lost-time claim associated with an amputation.

Following amputation, the most costly claims were:

  • Fracture, crush or dislocation ($58,563)
  • Other trauma ($55,543)
  • Burns ($47,955)

Workers Compensation Claims Statistics By State

The following are a few examples of states that have published workers' compensation claims data:

  • In 2020, there were 73,254 claims in Florida for an average benefit of $20,146
  • In Michigan, about 20,000 people are compensated for a work-related accident or sickness each year, down from approximately 27,000 in 2007.
  • In 2020, the state of Oregon collected 21,896 claims, which was 1.2 claims per 100 employees. Insurers initially denied nearly 12 percent of disabling claims.
  • Texas has experienced a significant increase in claims in 2020 (99,850 claims), compared to 2019 (73,628).

COVID 19 & Workers Compensation

Can You Get Workers Comp For COVID?

Yes, according to recent research, one-quarter of all COVID-19-related workers' compensation claims were for medical expenses in 2020. Last year's average overall medical and indemnity cost of a COVID-19 workers' compensation claim was $4,320.

Related Statistics:

  • Employees from the healthcare sector represented half of all COVID-19 claims.
  • Between 2020 and 2021, the healthcare, transportation, and warehousing industries had the largest aggregate number of workers' compensation claims reported.
  • The Healthcare, Transportation & Warehousing industries saw a 24% increase in total workers' compensation claims over 2019.

Workers' Compensation Denial Statistics

What Are The Most Common Reasons For A Workers Compensation Denial?

Between 2013 and 2017, claim denial rates increased from 5.8 percent to 6.9 percent.

The 10 most common reasons for getting a denial are:

Between 2013 and 2017, claim denial rates increased from 5.8 percent to 6.9 percent.

The 10 most common reasons for getting a denial are:

  • No medical evidence of injury
  • No injury per statutory definition
  • Reservation of rights, which is an insurer’s notification to an insured that coverage for a claim may not apply
  • Pre-existing condition
  • Idiopathic condition, which means the cause is considered unknown
  • Intoxication or drug-related violation
  • No injury per statutory definition
  • Failure to report an accident in a timely manner
  • Misrepresentation
  • The injured person doesn’t meet the statutory definition of an employee

You still have a decent chance of receiving compensation if your first workers' compensation claim is denied. On average, 67% of initial denials convert to paid claims within 12 months.

Workers' Compensation Fraud Statistics

Workers' compensation denials are sometimes accurate. It's tough to calculate the amount of workers' compensation fraud, however, one study put it at $1 billion a year. With fraud accounting for 1 to 2 percent of all workers' compensation payments.

In 2008 and 2009, the California Department of Insurance discovered and reported 5,174 suspected fraudulent workers' compensation claims, assigning 539 new cases, making 218 arrests, and referring 327 submissions to prosecuting authorities. The potential loss was more than $205 million during that time period, according to the Department.

Workers' compensation fraud happens to both employees and employers as well; for example:

Misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying workers' compensation premiums is another. This is especially true in the construction business because as many as 12 to 20% of workers were either misclassified or worked off the ledger.

Workers' Compensation Return-To-Work Statistics

The probability of returning to full employment after a six-month absence due to an accident or sickness is 55.4 percent.

After one year, the possibility of ever working again falls to 32.2%, and after two years unemployed, the likelihood drops further to 4.9%.

The moment when an injury or sickness becomes a long-term disability is most likely between three and six months into retirement.

Workers Compensation Insurance Statistics

How Much Are Employers Spending On Workers Comp Insurance Premiums?

Workers' compensation insurance in the United States grew by 0.8% between 2015 and 2020, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office.

Despite lower premium rates over the same period, net premiums written increased 2.1% between 2015 and 2018.

So what does a quick breakdown by sector look like?

  • For military personnel, the hourly rate was $0.46 and 1.2 percent of overall compensation for civilian employees
  • $0.45 per hour worked or 1.3% of overall compensation for private sector employees
  • State and government employees made an average of $0.56 per hour worked or 1.1% of total compensation, according to the Economic Policy

Naturally, high-risk businesses pay more in workers' compensation premiums than other sorts.

Who Is Writing the Most Workers Comp Insurance Premiums?

  • Travelers Companies Inc. $4.3 billion
  • Hartford Financial Services $3.4 billion
  • Berkshire Hathaway $2.8 billion
  • Zurich Insurance Group $2.7 billion
  • AmTrust Financial Services $2.6 billion
  • Chubb Ltd. $2.5 billion
  • Liberty Mutual $2.5 billion
  • New York State Insurance Fund $2.3 billion
  • American International Group (AIG) $1.7 billion
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan $1.6 billion

Concluding Thoughts

Taking Action

With some 4.9 million workers' compensation claims being filed every year, having coverage is not just an important part of running your business, but it could also save you from expensive legal fees if one or more of your employees were to get injured on the job.

If you are a business owner without workers comp insurance, click here to learn about the average cost of workers comp insurance, how much coverage you may need, and how to get start coverage.


How Many Workers Comp Claims Happen Per Year? 27+ Stats! (2024)


How Many Workers Comp Claims Happen Per Year? 27+ Stats!? ›

There are 4.9 million workers compensation claims made each year by both private and government employees. The typical workers comp claim is around $41,000. The average cost of a workers compensation claim for sprains is $34,409.

Which profession has the highest workers compensation claims? ›

Professions with the Most Workers' Compensation Claims

Construction workers, laborers, and freight, stock, and material movers (64,930 claims) Truck drivers, both heavy and tractor-trailer (43,500 claims) Stockers and order fillers (31,280 claims)

What is the highest workers comp rate? ›

The highest workers' comp rates by state jurisdiction are:
  • Wyoming: $1.78.
  • Alaska: $1.74.
  • Hawaii: $1.69.
  • Montana: $1.64.
  • South Carolina: $1.55.
  • Idaho: $1.47.
Feb 24, 2023

What is the longest you can be on workers comp? ›

Some states limit the length of time an injured worker can receive temporary benefits. This range can be three to seven years. That said, there is not usually a limit on permanent disability benefits. However, some states do stop weekly benefits when employees reach the age of 65.

How much is the average workers comp settlement in California? ›

How Much Is the Average Workers' Comp Settlement in California? The average workers' compensation settlement lands between $2,000 and $20,000. This is a wide range because the settlement depends upon the severity of the injury and the accident.

What job has the highest rate of injury? ›

Occupations with the Highest Injury Rate
  1. Construction Workers. Construction workers undertake several duties, most carrying a high risk of injury. ...
  2. Roofers. ...
  3. Fishing and Hunting jobs. ...
  4. Agricultural Workers. ...
  5. Delivery and Truck Drivers. ...
  6. Structural Workers.
Apr 13, 2023

Which industry has the highest rate of workplace injuries? ›

Most Dangerous Industries
  • Construction– experienced the most workplace deaths.
  • Education and health services– experienced the most nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work.
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting– experienced the highest death rate per 100,000 workers.

Which state has the highest workers comp rate? ›

Top 5 States with the Highest Workers' Compensation Costs
  • New Jersey: $2.52 – The Garden State comes in at #1, with a $2.52 index rate that's 175% higher than the median. ...
  • New York: $2.23 – New York comes in just below its neighboring state at #2, with an index rate of $2.23.

What state has the best workers compensation? ›

Iowa. With the shortest waiting period (three days) before a claim can be filed and the highest maximum weekly payment of $1,628, Iowa tops the list of best states for workers' comp.

What is the average employee compensation? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary in 2021 was $58,260.

What happens if you quit your job while on workers comp in California? ›

While you'll continue to receive medical care, quitting your job before you return to work could impact the value of your case or put an end to your disability benefits entirely. This could leave you without an income, unless you have a better job lined up and you're cleared to start working.

What is the Labor Code 5402? ›

Labor Code 5402(b)(1) states, "If liability is not rejected within 90 days after the date the claim form is filed under Section 5401, the injury shall be presumed compensable under this division." Once the presumption attaches, it can be rebutted only by evidence that could not have been obtained with the exercise of ...

What is the 5 year rule for workers comp in California? ›

Lab. Code, § 5410 [LC 5410] provides in part: “Nothing in this chapter shall bar the right of any injured worker to institute proceedings for the collection of compensation within five years after the date of the injury upon the ground that the original injury has caused new and further disability…”

How much compensation for stress and anxiety? ›

Average Stress At Work Compensation Payouts

Compensation for moderate cases where there may be some problems with the ability to cope with life for example but a marked improvement, £5,860 to £19,070. Compensation for stress at work-related problems that are considered less severe, £1,540 to £5,860.

Does surgery increase workers comp settlement in California? ›

The surgery significantly enhances the settlement amount by recognizing the additional medical expenses incurred due to the procedure, the impact on the employee's ability to work, and the long-term implications of the injury.

What does a 20 impairment rating mean in California? ›

For example, if your disability rating was 20, you'd receive 5 weeks of payments for each percentage. 20 percent times 5 weeks = 100 weeks of benefits. If you, like in our last example, had prior average weekly earnings of $525 per week, and a disability rating of 20%, you'd receive $350 (2/3rds of that) for 100 weeks.

Which industry is the highest claimant of workcover? ›

The 3 occupations with the highest frequency rate of serious claims were:
  • labourers.
  • community and personal service workers.
  • machinery operators and drivers.
Nov 22, 2021

What category of labor has the highest paid workers? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
Physicians, all otherThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
RadiologistsThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
PsychiatristsThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
Sep 8, 2022

What type of injuries represent the largest percentage of workers compensation claims? ›

Further descriptive statistics showed that strains, followed by contusions and lacerations, were the most common nature of injuries (Table 1) accounting for respectively 30%, 21%, and 12% of the total claims.

Which type of workers compensation claim is easiest to process? ›


This is the type of claim that is the simplest to file and easiest to process.

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