How to Calculate a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Settlement
When an employee is injured on the job and unable to work, shouldering the expenses and stress associated with medical care, lost wages, and other costs can be daunting. Fortunately, Virginia workers’ compensation was designed to cover medical and other expenses associated with work injuries and illnesses (even when an individual is at-fault for an accident), including wage replacement and benefits. If you’ve been injured and you’re wondering how to calculate a Virginia workers’ compensation settlement, we can help.
As a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer with over two decades of experience, firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt is adept at ensuring that injured workers receive full compensation. This included compensation not only for salary and average wages, but also benefits, bonuses, and other compensation.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you owe it to you and your family to make sure that you understand the full compensation to which you are entitled before accepting any settlement offer. Call our office for a free consultation to make sure you understand what is owed to you.
Unfortunately, many injured workers who self-administer their claims and incorrectly calculate average weekly wages (“AWW”). Thus compounding an injury, mistakes in incorrectly calculating the average weekly wages and using the wrong (and lower) basis for considering a settlement can result in a significant underpayment. Don’t let this happen to you!
We represent injured workers on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you will never owe a fee unless we are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf.
What Types of Payment and Expenses Does Virginia Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Virginia workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning any employee injured on the job may qualify for benefits, regardless of whether they were partially at fault for their injuries. If an individual suffers a work-related injury, they may be entitled to lifelong compensation for:
- Doctor’s visits and medically necessary care,
- Surgical care,
- Prescription drugs,
- Travel expenses (for travel to and from physician visits),
- Temporary Partial Disability (TP),
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD),
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD),
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD), and
- Death Benefits.
How Is Virginia Workers’ Compensation Calculated?
Virginia law provides methods for calculating workers’ compensation benefits that are based on an individual’s pre-injury AWW. The AWW determines how much compensation an individual will receive for lost wages and disability benefits.
For example, if an individual was employed for a full year prior to an injury and earned $60,000, the employee would divide $60,000 by 52 weeks, resulting in a weekly average wage of $1,153.85.
However, regular wages are not the only consideration when calculating an AWW. The following should also be included (if applicable):
- Overtime Pay
- Vacation Compensation
- Fringe Benefits
Once an AWW is calculated, the weekly amount is used as the basis for determining workers’ compensation.
How Long Are Worker’s Compensation Wages Payable?
The amount and duration of benefits will depend on the type of injury suffered and whether a worker is able to return to work in any capacity.
For example, if an individual is temporarily unable to work, he or she may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits amounting to 66 2/3% of their regular wages (based on earnings from the 52 weeks before an illness or injury). Conversely, if an employee is authorized to return to work with restrictions, temporary partial disability benefits may be available to replace any lost income resulting from the restricted status. Permanent disability benefits are also available for those who are unable to perform any work due to an injury.
It is critical to avoid lessening the value of a workers’ comp settlement by making minor miscalculations or omissions, as it can result in tens of thousands of dollars in lost benefits. Instead, we urge you to call our office today to schedule a free consultation with experienced Virginia workers’ compensation settlement attorney Mark Hurt to learn what your settlement may be worth.
What Is the Maximum Amount of Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Lost Wages?
Virginia workers’ compensation has fixed minimum and maximum amounts for lost-wage benefits. Effective July 1, 2022, the minimum weekly compensation rate is $322.50, while the maximum was fixed at $1,290.
How Can a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Settlement Attorney Help with My Workers’ Comp Claim?
Computing an AWW may appear straightforward, but determining the correct amount is frequently a point of contention in court proceedings and workers’ comp hearings, as claims adjusters will typically do everything possible to reduce benefit amounts. For this reason, it is critical to consult with a tenacious workers’ comp lawyer who can strongly oppose unfair tactics and unjust settlements.
When a client retains The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we zealously advocate for their rights and file claims structured to obtain every dollar to which they are rightfully entitled. Firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt has over two decades of in-depth experience with representing those injured and seeking full compensation.