A very common question that people ask after experiencing a workplace accident that leaves them injured is some variation of “what is the average settlement for a ___ injury?”
Knowing what to expect and what sort of compensation is fair is pretty important. Each situation has different circumstances that affect the value of the claim, so discussing your options with a workers’ compensation attorney is a good first step.
The Missouri workers’ comp system operates under the same premise as most workers’ comp systems: in order to keep work injury cases out of the courts, injured workers are entitled to compensation for accidental workplace injuries. By assuming liability for work accidents, regardless of whose fault the accident is, employers are protected from employees seeking tort damages through the civil court system. Under the Missouri system, employees are limited to specific, scheduled benefits that are determined by using an equation.
In Missouri, which has its own workers’ compensation system, there are several different types of benefits that may be provided to injured workers. It can be difficult to get an accurate idea of what benefits an injured worker can expect to receive without knowing the particular circumstances of the accident and injury. Discussing your case with a workers’ compensation attorney can help you to get a better understanding of what to expect regarding compensatory benefits. However, there are a few basic calculations you can use that can give you a better idea of the compensation you may be able to receive.
Keep in mind that each situation can be different and that any number of factors can impact your benefits.
Benefits are usually determined by identifying the compensation rate. An employee who is unable to work for a period of time will most likely receive benefits that amount to a portion of their weekly wage. To determine the compensation rate, the average weekly wage of the employee needs to be calculated. The average is found by looking at the thirteen weeks prior to the date of injury. The weekly wages from these thirteen weeks are all added together and then divided by thirteen.
The exception to this is if the employee has not been employed at that job for thirteen weeks. In that case, the total amount of wages paid to the employee during the course of their employment is tallied and then divided by the number of weeks he or she has worked for that employer prior to the accident.
This then gives you the average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW can be used to estimate or calculate possible or likely benefits that an employee may receive under the Missouri workers’ comp system.
Next, you will have to find out what the appropriate compensation rate is for the type of benefits you are looking at. In most cases this compensation rate will be two-thirds of the average weekly wage (up until the date the injury occurred) that you just calculated. There is a maximum amount that these benefits cannot exceed, but that maximum is adjusted on a yearly basis and depends on the injury type. There will be different maximums for permanent partial disability than from temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or death benefits.
Missouri Workers’ Comp Lawyers
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, consulting with a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney can help you to better understand your rights and how to move forward. The benefits that you can ask for will depend on the severity of your injury, your doctor’s diagnosis, and how the injury affects your ability to do your job. The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help advocate for you and maximize your chances of getting the full compensation you deserve.
Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form.
photo credit: PBoGS