If you are injured at work, then workers’ compensation is usually the exclusive remedy for your on-the-job injuries. Often, with serious work injuries, injured workers miss time from work or are limited in the number of hours they can work due to their injuries. The question of when and how much an injured worker is compensated can often be complex and confusing.
When do I get paid? If an injured worker is out of work for a period of seven days due to a work-related injury, then he/she is paid temporary total disability beginning on the eighth day. If the injured worker remains out of work for more than fourteen days due to a work-related injury, then he/she is entitled to compensation for the first week that he/she was out of work. The days that the injured worker is out of work do not need to be consecutive to receive compensation.
How much do I get paid by workers’ compensation? Traditionally, if an injured worker is completely out of work, then workers’ compensation pays two-thirds of the injured workers’ average weekly wage each week the injured worker is entitled to compensation. Average weekly wage is generally calculated by taking the gross (pre-tax) wages paid to the injured worker by their employer for the four quarters immediately preceding the quarter in which the injury occurred and dividing by fifty-two. However, sometimes there are arguments to increase or decrease the average weekly wage. Some of the common arguments to adjust the average weekly wage can include: the injured worker was working multiple jobs at the time of the injury, the injured worker did not work a full four quarters prior to sustaining the injury or the injured worker received a merit-based pay raise during the four quarters prior to the injury.
What happens if I’m not working as much because of my injuries? Often, an injured worker will be given light duty restrictions by a doctor that their employer can accommodate. However, during this period, sometimes the injured worker is not working and earning as much as they were prior to the injury. During this period, workers’ compensation should pay two-thirds of the difference between the injured worker’s average weekly wage and post-injury wages.
If you’ve sustained an injury at work and feel you should be receiving compensation or receiving more compensation, then talk with an attorney to discuss your rights and to answer any questions that you may have. Contacting an attorney as soon as practical is one of the best ways to protect your rights and ensure that you are being compensated properly.
If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding your on-the-job injury, please do not hesitate to contact us at 803-996-3333.