Q: How is my Workers' Compensation Average Weekly Wage calculated?
The calculation of your Average Weekly Wage is one of the most important factors affecting the value of your workers' compensation case. A difference of even a few dollars per week can make a huge difference in the amount of your potential lump sum settlement. For this reason, it's important to be sure that your Average Weekly Wage is calculated correctly and the insurance company is not shorting you.
Generally, when you are injured at work, the insurance adjuster will look at the 52 weeks prior to your work injury and use those to calculate your average weekly wage. Sometimes, the adjuster does it correctly; often times, the adjuster does not. A claimant's average weekly wage is very often calculated incorrectly if the injured worker has worked for the employer for a period of less than 52 weeks. In these situations, a different formula should be used. Additionally, adjusters often overlook such pay as overtime, per diem, and bonuses. All of these can qualify as wages under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act.
It's important to review your Average Weekly Wage with an attorney even if your case seems to be going smoothly. Every situation is unique and it's always worth double-checking.