Why your average weekly wage is important in Michigan

Michigan workers comp attorney lists the top four triggers that cause a person to seek legal help.

Many of our clients have told us that it was a difficult decision to contact a workers comp attorney. Most have never needed to contact an attorney and are uneasy about the process.

We are here to help and want you to know your legal rights. Here are the top four triggers that cause a person to contact a workers comp attorney.

1. Workers comp benefits are stopped

You are entitled to unlimited medical care for a work-related injury. You should also be paid wage loss benefits if you are disabled and cannot work. These work comp benefits are required by law and it does not matter how you were injured.

Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies will dispute a valid workers comp claim for no good reason. A person may have been paid workers comp benefits for months or years and then cut-off.

It is important to speak with an experienced workers comp attorney to challenge any unfair decision. Employers and insurance companies are betting that you just go away and don’t fight for your legal rights. Most of these bad cut-off cases result in substantial workers comp settlements because the employer and insurance company know they are in the wrong.

2. The aggressive nurse case manager

The purpose of the nurse case manager is to coordinate medical care and help you recover faster. Some insurance companies use aggressive nurse case managers to control medical and indemnity costs. These individuals do not have your best interests at heart and can make your situation even worse.

Michigan workers comp lawyer explains the average weekly wage and how to calculate the correct wage loss amount.

The biggest mistake that a person can make is to assume that an insurance company or employer is paying the correct workers comp rate. We frequently see individuals who are receiving much less than what the law requires.

You are entitled to 80% of the after-tax value of your average weekly wage. This should continue as long as you are disabled and cannot work.

Here is some information about the average weekly wage that you should know about. This is an important calculation because it determines how much your wage loss benefits will be after a work injury.

39 weeks worked

You can calculate the average weekly wage by taking the highest 39 paid weeks of the last 52 preceding your injury and dividing the total by 39. Overtime, premium pay, and bonuses should be included in these weekly amounts.

Sometimes the value of discontinued fringe benefits can also be included in the average weekly wage calculation. You can find out the weekly cost of these benefits from your employer and add them to the weekly total.

Less than 39 weeks worked

When a person works less than 39 weeks the calculation is different. You can compute the average weekly wage by dividing the total wages paid by the total number of weeks actually worked.

If a person worked less than one week and was injured on-the-job, the average weekly wage is calculated by multiplying the number of hours contracted to work and the hourly rate.

Your workers comp rate in Michigan

Tables published by the State of Michigan will establish your workers comp rate based upon tax filing status and number of dependents. This amount is generally 60% of your gross pay. If your average weekly wage calculation is wrong then this number will also be wrong.

It is common for insurance companies to make mistakes so it is a good idea to have an experienced workers comp lawyer review these calculations.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with an experienced workers comp lawyer.  We offer free telephone advice and office consultations. There is never a fee unless workers comp benefits are recovered for you.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Video: Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

Answers to Questions about Workers Compensation Law

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Dominic’s pics.

09/01/2011
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