Speaker 1: The citizens of St. Charles Parish need to know many things about a workers' compensation case. One of the most important things is when you get a compensation rate, you need to establish what the average weekly wage is. Workers' compensation normally pays 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum. One of the most important things about determining your compensation rate is the four full weeks prior to your accident. Normally, the courts will consider the four full weeks before the accident. However, if you are a commission-based employee, the average weekly wage is determined by reviewing the six months of earnings before the accident.
Normally, an employee is considered a full-time worker and is given a 40-hour presumption unless he chooses to work less than 40 hours. Many times, the personnel file must state, is this worker full-time or part-time? The employer has the rebuttable presumption of showing that an employee was part-time if he works less than 40 hours. Normally, people do not choose to work less than 40 hours when it is beyond their control. Weather, slow work, and other factors can affect your ability to work 40 hours. However, if you choose not to work 40 hours, that will be a factor in determining your average weekly wage.
Wage rates play a huge part in your worker's compensation case because those are the only benefits that go to you. All other benefits go to the doctor, the therapists, the pharmacy, and all your healthcare providers. Lawyers know how to properly calculate the average weekly wage. And a lot of the arguments from the insurance company are that the worker was part-time or chose to work less than 40 hours per week. The Schwartz Law Firm can help you review this, look at your payroll records, look at your job stubs, look at your employment trial, and determine if you get the 40-hour presumption in the number of benefits that you receive. This is a very important thing in these cases, and insurance companies know that. They know the law well. You should find a lawyer who can help you with determining your correct amount of worker's compensation benefits.