If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to receive in workers’ comp benefits. Coming up with a rough estimate is easier than you might think – all you need to know is your average weekly wage. However, if you want a more accurate estimate, speaking with an experienced workers’ comp attorney can be beneficial.
Why Is It Important To Know Your Average Weekly Wage?
It’s important to know your average weekly wage because it is the basis for determining the amount of workers’ comp benefits you can hope to receive. When you know your average weekly wage, you can come up with an estimate of how much you may be able to receive weekly. However, there are a variety of other factors that will affect the amount and duration of your benefits. These include:
- The type of disability you have (partial, total, temporary, etc.)
- Lost earning capacity
- Death benefits
- Permanent loss of function
- Medical costs
Because of all of these factors, knowing your average weekly wage will only really give you a rough estimate of the amount of compensation you can receive. Discussing your case with a Massachusetts worker’s comp attorney can help you come up with a more accurate estimate.
Calculating Your Average Weekly Wage for Workers Comp Benefits
To calculate your average weekly wage, there are a few easy steps to follow:
- Take your total gross earnings (pre-tax) for the 52 weeks prior to your injury, including overtime and bonuses
- Divide this sum by 52 weeks (if shorter than 52 weeks, divide by the number of weeks you worked)
This calculation will give you your average weekly wage. To come up with an estimate of your weekly benefits, multiply this average weekly wage by .60. If you have been permanently and totally disabled, multiply your average weekly wage by .6667.
It’s important to know that each state has a maximum and a minimum average weekly wage. This means that you cannot receive any more than the maximum wage, even if the calculation gives you more. This maximum and minimum are set by each state on October 1 of each year. As an example, Massachusetts’s 2013 maximum average weekly wage was $1,181.28.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney
Knowing your average weekly wage can help you determine the amount of your weekly workers’ comp benefits. However, there are more factors involved in coming up with a weekly figure. For more accurate estimates, answers to any of your questions, and help to navigate your workers’ compensation claim, contact one of our lawyers at Powers & Caccavale. Fill out our free case evaluation or call (617) 379-0016.