“…many times the Employer or their Insurer misrepresent or are incorrect about your average weekly wage. Why do they do this, I suspect it is just to save themselves money.“
There are several benefits in workers compensation. Most are tied into the determination of your average weekly wage. The average weekly wage (AWW) is discussed under Missouri law RSMO 287.250. Usually it is based upon the 13 weeks of wages you earn before the date you are injured. You simply add the prior 13 weeks wages and divide by thirteen. Your benefit rate is then determined to be 2/3’s of the AWW. There are different maximums limits on the rate depending on whether you are getting weekly benefits or a final lump sum for permanency when you return to work.
What is important for you to know is that many times the Employer or their Insurer misrepresent or are incorrect about your wages. Why do they do this, I suspect it is just to save themselves money. Of course what they do is underestimate the amount you are supposed to get. When you first hire an attorney it is important to give him information to help determine your correct AWW. Bring your attorney your payroll records. If you are a part-time employee, you may be entitled to a full time co- worker’s wages that does your same job duties. If you are a minor, you may be entitled to a full time adult co- worker’s wages. There are several ways to bump up the value of your wages to get you more compensation both for weekly stipend to live on while you are healing, for disfigurement, and for permanency compensation rate. This simple miscalculation by the Employer or their Insurer can cost you thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars lost benefits if you let the employer get away with it. At my firm we address the correct AWW in every case. Just another reason it is important to hire an attorney who is used to addressing this problem. If you have any questions, please call us for a free initial consultation. Ron Edelman