In the aftermath of a workplace accident, most people feel anxiety about their finances. Between expensive medical care and missed work, many might worry about how to make ends meet. If you have been involved in a workplace accident, Munley Law expresses its most sincere condolences. From dealing with hundreds of worker’s compensation claims, we are aware that these can be particularly trying times in any professional’s life.
While you are healing, we hope that our deep expertise in litigating workers’ compensation claims can make this difficult time a little easier. Winning the outcome that you deserve can go a long way towards improving your recovery and reducing the financial pressure you are under. Please reach out to us today for a free consultation. We look forward to putting our expertise to work for you.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Before diving into how much you’ll receive from your workers’ compensation claim, let’s begin by reviewing what workers’ compensation benefits include and who is qualified to receive them. Workers’ compensation is a body of law created and managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Workers’ compensation laws institute a safety net for those who were injured while at work. The goal of these laws is to protect workers while they are healing and help them get back on their feet.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In short, if you are a resident of Pennsylvania and were injured while at work, then you will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. According to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, this coverage extends to nearly all types of laborers— seasonal, part-time, and full-time workers included.
There are, however, a few limitations to this bill’s coverage. For example, if you are determined to have an active hand in causing your injury, then you will not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You would not be covered if…
- If your injury occurred while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If your injury was the result of a personal altercation– either with a fellow employee or a third party.
- If your injury was an act of self-harm.
- If your injury occurred at home or on the way to work. Only injuries that occur physically at your place of work will count.
What Type of Support Can I Expect to Receive from Workers’ Compensation?
The first component is coverage of your medical care. In the state of Pennsylvania, in fact, regardless of whether or not your claim is approved, employers are obligated to pay for your medical care, if you are injured in a workplace accident. Remember, your medical care includes not only the obvious line items like doctors’ visits and surgical care, but also more peripheral costs, such as prescription medications, medical devices like wheelchairs, rehabilitation efforts (for example, physical therapy), and even in some cases, travel to and from doctor’s appointments.
Because many workplace injuries prevent you from immediately returning to work, the second component of workers’ compensation benefits is protection of your lost wages. This will come in the form of a weekly payment that is a portion of your pre-injury earnings.
Many people, while recovering, will file for total disability or partial disability. As the name suggests, total disability means that your injury renders you completely unable to work for a period of time. Examples of these types of injuries include brain, neck, and spinal injuries. Under total disability, you will receive compensation for 100% of the hours you miss. Filing for partial disability, on the other hand, will only protect a portion of your wages, as those who qualify for partial disability are still able to work, but maybe not at 100% of their pre-injury capacity.
Statewide Average Weekly Wage
The statewide average weekly wage is a value that is calculated each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry based on a number of different variables. For workers’ compensation claims, this value represents the upper limit of how much you can be compensated per week. If your weekly wages are below this value, then you will earn up to two-thirds of what you were earning before your injury. If your weekly wages are at or above this value, then your weekly payment will be capped at the statewide average.
For injuries occurring on or after January 1st 2022, you can expect to receive up to $1205.00 per week, should your claim be approved. If your injury occurred before the start of the calendar year, you can check out previous averages here on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s historical average payment schedule.
Calculating How Much You Get from Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Because all injuries and cases are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all payout value. However, to get a rough estimate of how much your claim is worth, start by calculating the cost of your medical care. Remember to be over-inclusive, and count everything like prescription medication and physical therapy in your estimation.
Next, you’ll want to determine whether you will be filing for partial or total disability. Then you’ll want to determine how many weeks your injury will prevent you from working. A doctor’s evaluation will help you determine the extent of your recovery. Finally, you’ll want to add the cost of your medical care to your wage compensation.
- For those filing for total disability and who make less than the statewide weekly average, multiply how much you make each week by 66%. Then, multiply this value by the number of weeks you expect to be unable to work.
- For those filing for total disability and who make more than the statewide weekly average, first begin by looking up the statewide weekly average in the year your injury occurred. Then multiply that number the the number of weeks you expect to be unable to work.
- For those filing for partial disability and who make less than the statewide weekly average, first begin by determining how much your injury will limit your ability to work. This value should be a percentage. Then multiply that percentage by two thirds of your pre-injury wages. Multiply that product by the number of weeks you expect to have a reduced earning capacity.
- For those filing for partial disability and who make more than the statewide weekly average, figure out the statewide weekly average in the year your injury occurred. Then multiply that number by how much your earning capacity is reduced by your injury. Then multiply that number by the number of weeks you are unable to work.
Why Hire a Munley Law Workers’ Comp Attorney
If this all sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will make all the difference in winning you the outcome you deserve.
At Munley Law, we have over 60 years of experience, and many of our attorneys have won multi-million dollar settlement outcomes for their clients. We are consistently recognized for our work as some of the Best Lawyers in America. We specialize exclusively in personal injury cases and our experience with workers’ compensation cases will undoubtedly win you the best possible outcome. Please reach out to us today for your free consultation.