In Louisiana, workers’ compensation is generally calculated from the employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident. Of course, how that is determined, and whether you’re eligible for more damages due to extenuating circumstances, are widely variable and depend on your injuries, how responsible your workplace is, and other factors.
If you’ve been hurt on the job and are left unable to work, the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act can provide financial relief to help you make ends meet while you heal, however, workers’ comp claims can be complicated. You need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys to help you navigate these complicated legal waters.
How Is The Average Weekly Wage Calculated in Louisiana?
In the most common case—that is, an employee working a standard 40-hour week—the average weekly wage is calculated by multiplying the gross wage per hour by 40. For example, someone working 40 hours a week at $15 per hour would have an average weekly wage of $600.
However, there are several variations on the full-time 40-hour work week. For this reason, Louisiana law specifies multiple categories of workers for calculating average weekly wage:
- Full-time employees are calculated as above: multiply their hourly wage by the number of hours worked in the four full weeks preceding the accident. This means that if the employee regularly works overtime, they could be eligible for more benefits.
- Full-time employees who regularly work less than 40 hours per week at their own discretion average their total earnings per week for the four full weeks preceding the accident.
- Part-time employees‘ average weekly wage is calculated by multiplying their hourly wage rate by the average actual hours worked in the four full weeks preceding the injury.
- Part-time employees who work two or more jobs (moonlighters) can receive benefits from the employer in whose service they were injured. If that injury prevents the employee from working their other jobs, they are entitled to benefits calculated from their total number of working hours across all their jobs.
- Seasonal employees calculate their average weekly wage by dividing their annual income by 52.
- Employees paid on a monthly basis: The monthly salary is multiplied by 12, then divided by 52.
- Employees paid annually (salaried employees): The annual salary is divided by 52.
- Other wages: For other payment schemes, take the employee’s gross earnings over the twenty-six weeks preceding the injury, divide it by the number of days they actually worked during that time, and multiply that by the average number of days worked per week.
How Is the Average Weekly Wage Used in Calculated Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Generally, the benefits you’ll receive under the Workers’ Compensation law are 2/3 your average weekly wage as calculated based on your work history. Louisiana also defines maximum and minimum compensation rates for workers’ compensation benefits, however, these rates are adjusted every year.
As you can see, average weekly wage calculations and workers’ compensation claims can be complicated, and knowing exactly which category you fit in can be confusing. The dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are trained to help you figure out the proper calculation and make the strongest workers’ comp claim possible.
If you’ve been hurt at work, call the personal injury lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation as to your legal options. We’ll get started right away on determining what benefits to expect and fighting for your fair compensation.
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