How Much Money Does Workers’ Comp Pay?
If a job injury victim has a temporary disability, workers’ compensation usually replaces two-thirds of lost wages, until a doctor clears the victim to return to work. Slightly different rules apply if the victim has a permanent disability. The amount of lost wage replacement usually depends on the nature and extent of the disability. Legal entitlement to lost wage replacement is clear. The amount of lost wage replacement is more uncertain, as outlined below.
In addition to lost wages, a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer obtains payment for all reasonably necessary medical bills, from the first moment of emergency care to the last day of physical therapy. Usually, the insurance company pays these bills directly. Furthermore, victims aren’t financially responsible for any unpaid charges, even if the hospital sends a bill. The combination of lost wage replacement and reasonable medical bill payment helps injured workers get back on the job quickly, which is what everyone wants.
The AWW (average weekly wage) is different from the gross pay line on a paycheck. Many victims receive non-cash compensation, such as per diem allowance, 401(k) matching, and expense allowance. Job injury victims deserve compensation for all these losses.
Generally, victims cannot work while they recover. Occasionally, victims “graduate” from TTD (temporary total disability) to TPD (temporary partial disability). That’s especially true in Florida, because in some cases, injured workers must see company doctors. If victims must work lower paying light duty assignments while they recover, workers’ compensation usually pays two-thirds of the difference between the old and new incomes.
A brief word about light duty assignments. These assignments often include menial jobs like parking lot attendant and bathroom monitor. Such work is very frustrating for people accustomed to much more active jobs. But victims must usually accept these assignments, unless a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer can work out a compromise.
In high school, a grade point “average” only includes prior grades. But an “average” weekly wage calculation includes future wages, as well as prior wages.
Assume Phil’s injury means he’ll miss a time-served bonus. Phil deserves compensation for that lost bonus. Most likely the insurance company would argue the bonus is speculative and therefore not compensable. Unless the parties can compromise, an Administrative Law Judge must normally sort out such differences.
Many job injury victims are new hires on probation when they get hurt. Unfamiliarity with the environment often causes falls and other such injuries.
Let’s go back to Phil and change the facts a bit. Assume his injury means he’ll miss a scheduled pay increase. Once his wages would have increased, his lost wage benefits should increase as well.
Prior work record is often relevant in these situations. As mentioned, insurance companies often refuse to adjust lost wage replacement upwards. If the victim has a solid job history without recent early and/or unexpected terminations, the victim’s case for wage adjustment is stronger.
Count On a Thorough Hillsborough County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced job injury lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.