One of the most important factors in a workers’ compensation case in North Carolina is the accurate calculation of the Average Weekly Wage, or AWW. The Average Weekly Wage “AWW” multiplied by 2/3’s yields the “comp rate” which is the amount of weekly payments paid to a worker who is unable to work. The Average Weekly Wage is also a factor in the Temporary Partial Disability formula, which is the wage replacement benefit paid to a worker who has returned to work but at a lower wage. The AWW is also a included in calculating the payment due to an injured worker for a Permanent Partial Disability rating.
A proper calculation of the AWW is critical to the evaluation of the value of a NC workers’ comp case. There are a number of methods in NC workers’ comp law to calculate AWW, the most common of which is to divide the gross (pre-tax) amount earned in the year prior to the injury by the number of weeks worked. Other methods may apply when the employment has been very short term. Overtime and bonuses are included in calculating the Average Weekly Wage. An injured worker who received a per diem, housing allowance or transportation allowance may also be able to include the value of those benefits in his or her Average Weekly Wage calculation.
If you were injured in an accident in North Carolina and have questions about whether your weekly payments are correct, you should consult a NC workers’ comp lawyer to help you determine the proper AWW in your NC workmans comp claim. Recently, I was hired by a client and within a few weeks I demonstrated to the workers’ comp insurance company that they had been underpaying my client by a couple about two hundred dollars a week for several years. The result was the insurance company had to pay a significant amount of back benefits.
Please contact us for a free consultation with a Board Certified North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney.