If you are injured in the course and scope of your employment, your employer (through their insurer) is obligated to pay indemnity benefits (benefits meant to compensate you for being out of work or unable to return to 90% of your pre-injury wage) and medical benefits (payments for your medical treatment). As it relates to indemnity benefits, if your physician has taken you off of work, how, then, would your employer calculate how much to pay you? If you are, what is termed, temporarily totally disabled (TTD), then you are entitled to sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of your average weekly wage for the four weeks prior to your injury. (See La. R.S. 23:1221(1)(a) and 23:1021(13)(a)(i)).

So, what does this mean? If you were an hourly employee at the time of the accident, making $15.00/hour and working 40 hours a week, you were making six hundred dollars ($600.00) per week. If you are hurt while in the course and scope of your employment and a physician says that you are temporarily totally disabled and cannot return to work, then you are most likely entitled to four hundred dollars ($400.00) per week in indemnity benefits while you are temporarily totally disabled.

What if you are a salaried employee making fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) a year? In this scenario, your average weekly salary is nine hundred sixty-one dollars and 54/100 dollars ($961.54), so your corresponding indemnity benefit would be six hundred forty-one and 2/100 dollars ($641.02). There are also different rules for seasonal employment, monthly salaried wages, overtime, and part-time wages.

Finally, these calculations are subject to minimum and maximum compensation rates. These are established by La. R.S. 23:1202 and change annually. Currently, the minimum compensation rate is two hundred eighteen dollars ($218.00) and the maximum compensation rate is eight hundred sixteen dollars ($816.00). Your compensation rate is determined at the time of injury.

As always, there can be factual complications in calculating benefits and no two cases are the same. That is why it is so important to meet with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who understands the law. As always, Stanley-Wallace Law is here for you!