Michigan workers’ comp lawyer explains the average weekly wage and how to calculate the weekly rate.
We understand the stress and worry that goes along with a workplace accident. How much does worker’ comp pay? What happens if I cannot return to my job? These are important questions, and the answers are not always simple. Michigan workers’ comp pays based upon what an employee was earning before getting hurt. Here is some information that every disabled employee should know.
How much does workers’ comp pay in Michigan?
In Michigan, workers’ comp should pay employees hurt on-the-job 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. This is calculated using the highest 39 weeks out of 52. Overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and second jobs should be included. A good rule of thumb is 60% of gross pay. Charts published by the WDCA give the weekly rate.
Watch out for insurance companies who simply estimate the average weekly wage using an employee’s hourly rate. Actual wage records from the employer should be used to calculate the exact amount. Insurance companies frequently make this error, and it is never in an employee’s favor. We have seen people lose out on hundreds of dollars each week because they did not double check the math.
Insurance companies can use post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) to reduce what Michigan workers’ comp will pay for your settlement. This happens when a so-called “vocational expert” says a job is available despite a person being unable to find employment. Phantom wages are then used to reduce what is paid. These vocational assessments are not always fair and should be challenged. Speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer if this occurs.
What happens if I cannot return to my job?
Individuals on workers’ comp can trade weekly checks for a lump sum cash settlement. This is an attractive option for people who cannot return to their job and want to move on with life. Money can be used for any purpose including additional medical treatment, job search efforts, starting a business, or retirement. Settlement is income tax free.
Determining what Michigan workers’ comp is going to pay for your settlement is going to be calculated based upon insurance company exposure. This is the amount of money they expect to pay in future Michigan workers’ comp benefits. Items like medical treatment, mileage, attendant care, vocational rehabilitation, home modifications, and lost wages should all be considered.
Watch out for insurance companies who make low-ball settlement offers. They do this to individuals who show financial distress or do not understand their legal rights. We recommend speaking with an experienced lawyer before discussing settlement to avoid starting from a bad negotiating position. Attorney fees are capped at 15% when benefits are currently being paid and this is easily made up through larger settlement amounts.
Injured while on-the-job in Michigan? Contact our lawyers now
If you were injured while on the job in Michigan, call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. Our attorneys are here for you and they will fight to ensure Michigan workers’ comp will pay you what you deserve for your case.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan workers comp laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workman’s Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled employees exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.