Posted in Workers' Compensation on December 6, 2023
If you sustain an injury or illness caused by the workplace, you deserve compensation. However, you need to know how much compensation you will receive so that you can establish an adequate financial plan for yourself and your family as you recover from your injury or illness. Here, we want to review how workers’ compensation settlements are calculated in California.
Any Medical Bills Associated With Your Workplace Injury or Illness
One of the most beneficial aspects of workers’ compensation benefits is the protection of workers concerning their medical bills. Workers’ compensation will typically pay for any medical expenses related to your workplace injury or illness. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Any ongoing or follow-up visits
- Surgical care
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical devices or prescription medications
- The cost of travel to and from medical visits
When working to calculate these expenses or expected medical bills, an attorney will enlist assistance from trusted medical and economic experts. So long as the primary doctor for the workers’ compensation claim agrees that your medical care should continue, benefit payments for medical expenses will continue.
Calculating Lost Wages
When calculating lost wages for a California workers’ compensation settlement, several key factors are taken into account to ensure fair compensation for the injured worker. The primary goal is to adequately compensate for the income the worker could not earn due to the work-related injury.
- Determination of Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The first step is to ascertain the injured employee’s average weekly wage. This figure forms the base for calculating lost wages. Typically, the AWW is computed by averaging the worker’s earnings for a period before the injury, often the previous 52 weeks. This includes all forms of compensation, such as overtime, bonuses, and other benefits.
- Temporary Disability Benefits. If the worker is temporarily unable to work, they are eligible for Temporary Disability (TD) benefits. These benefits typically amount to two-thirds of the AWW, subject to minimum and maximum limits set by the state. These limits are updated annually to address changes in the State Average Weekly Wage.
- Permanent Disability Benefits. In situations where the injury or illness leads to permanent limitations, the worker may receive Permanent Disability (PD) benefits. The calculation for PD benefits is more complex, factoring in the worker’s age, occupation, extent of impairment, and future earning capacity. An impairment rating, determined by medical evaluation, plays a crucial role in this calculation.
- Duration of Benefits. The duration for which benefits are paid depends on the severity of the disability. Temporary benefits are usually capped at a certain number of weeks, whereas permanent benefits may continue for a longer duration, depending on the extent of the disability.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love is struggling to recover fair compensation after a workplace injury in California, we encourage you to contact a worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney with the resources needed to help you through this can step in and handle all communication with other parties, and they can work with trusted medical and economic experts to adequately calculate your total losses.