You are entitled to compensation after sustaining an injury at the workplace. Most workers are guaranteed the right to pursue compensation under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation law. However, the claim process often becomes challenging, especially when it comes to calculating the amount of workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, this involves determining an injured worker’s average weekly wage-a task that is often daunting and complicated.
That said, here is a brief elucidation of what you need to know about weekly wages in Minnesota and how they are calculated during the claim process.
What is average weekly wage?
The term average weekly wage is often used to calculate workers’ compensation wage loss benefits in Minnesota. It can be defined as an average of how much you earn per week over the past 26 weeks. To make this calculation, you need your paystubs and documentation showing what days you worked.
Although calculating your average weekly wage seems like an easy task, it becomes difficult if your paycheck is inconsistent with the amount you received over the past 26 weeks. Additionally, the calculations can be challenging if you were classified as a seasonal employee or if there was a period when you were out of work.
How do you calculate an injured worker’s average weekly wage in Minnesota?
Put briefly, your average weekly wage on the date of the injury will typically control the number of benefits you receive. That said, it is fundamental to understand how you can calculate your average weekly wage after an accident that results in serious injury.
To put this into perspective, you can calculate your average weekly wage in Minnesota by multiplying your daily wage by the number of days and partial days you worked. However, calculations for irregular employment overtime may differ.
The following are some of the calculations that can be made to this effect:
- Irregular wages: An employee’s wage is irregular if there is a variance in the number of hours worked each day. As such, the calculations are made by taking into account the amount of wages, holiday pay, and vacation pay earned in the 26 weeks prior to the injury and dividing it by the number of days worked.
- Overtime: The calculations only include regular overtime.
- Seasonal work: This type of work has a different calculation that is often more favorable to the employee. It is typically your daily rate x 5.
Noteworthy is that Minnesota has both a maximum and a minimum weekly compensation rate that varies depending on your date of injury.
How can a Workers Compensation Attorney in Minnesota help?
A workplace accident that leads to an injury can bring about confusion. Oftentimes, injured workers grapple with the financial consequences of the injury, coupled with mental and physical pain. As such, they are unable to pursue their right to compensation.
However, the legal hurdles that make it challenging to pursue a successful claim can be mitigated by hiring a competent and qualified workers’ compensation attorney in Minnesota. Essentially, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you:
- Gather Evidence: This is critical, especially when pursuing any claim in Minnesota. In essence, gathering relevant and sufficient evidence will go a long way in helping establish a valid claim.
- Safeguard your rights and interests: A competent attorney will safeguard your rights throughout the claim process. This is essential because it ensures that your rights are not violated, or that you are not exploited by the insurance company, your employer, or the adjusters.
- Negotiate on your behalf: Negotiating skills are important when it comes to workers’ compensation claims in Minnesota. Essentially, a competent and qualified attorney in Minnesota can negotiate on your behalf and help you ensure you obtain the amount of compensation you deserve
Determine your weekly wage: An attorney can help determine your weekly wage to ensure you are receiving appropriate compensation for your injury.
If you or your loved one sustain an injury at the workplace in Minnesota, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney by your side. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.