When you are injured on the job and are seeking compensation through the workers’ compensation laws, you must have a disability rating in order to do so. In order to receive on going benefits, one must prove they have become permanently disabled as a result of the injury.
However, a disability does not always mean only a physical disability. Instead, a disability in workers’ compensation is a loss of earning capacity. When you are injured a doctor will determine how badly you have been injured. Based on your injury and how it impacts your capacity to earn wages they will assign you a rating on the injured body part. You then use that disability percentage and the number of weeks that correspond to the injured body part.
Lets look at an example to better understand how a rating is used in calculating what you are entitled to in a workers’ compensation case. If someone injures their back and a doctor gives them a disability rating of 10% on their back then we would use that percentage along with 300 weeks (given by the table below). Ten percent multiplied by 300 is 30 weeks. We then take those 30 weeks and multiply that by the compensation rate (which is 66% of the average weekly wages). In this scenario, lets say the compensation rate is $666.66 per week. If that were the case then we would multiply the weekly compensation rate ($666.66) by the 30 weeks. That means this person would be guaranteed to receive $20,000 due to their permanent impairment or disability rating.
Although many of the numbers in a workers’ compensation case are set by statute, an attorney can help ensure you get the necessary treatment and also can maximize the disability rating you receive. Having a workers’ compensation attorney can help you maximize your settlement and benefits.
Below is a listing of the current “weeks” for each body part.
|Chart||Number of Weeks||Cite|
|Thumb||75||G.S. 97-31 (1)|
|Index Finger||45||G.S. 97-31 (2)|
|Second Finger||40||G.S. 97-31 (3)|
|Third Finger||25||G.S. 97-31 (4)|
|Little Finger||20||G.S. 97-31 (5)|
|Great Toe||35||G.S. 97-31 (8)|
|Any other Toe||10||G.S. 97-31 (9)|
|Hand||200||G.S. 97-31 (12)|
|Arm||240||G.S. 97-31 (13)|
|Foot||144||G.S. 97-31 (14)|
|Leg||200||G.S. 97-31 (15)|
|Eye||120||G.S. 97-31 (16)|
If you feel that you have been injured on the job and you have not been properly paid for it; it is strongly suggested that you speak with an attorney who handles Worker’s Compensation cases to see if you have a case against your employer.