After a workplace injury in Delaware, you will need to understand a variety of terms that are used in Delaware workers’ compensation law as you go through the claims process. While the initial process of reporting your injury to your employer and filing a claim may seem relatively straightforward, claims can be extremely complicated, particularly when an injury results in a permanent disability, or when your claim is denied and you need to go through the appeals process. From the start, it is critical to work with a Delaware workers’ compensation attorney who can ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner with all necessary documentation. If you have already filed for benefits and need assistance with an appeal, it is not too late to seek help from a lawyer. In the meantime, the following are some of the key terms you should know when you are going through the workers’ compensation claims process.
Average Weekly Wage
Your average weekly wage is the figure that is used to determine the amount of wage replacement benefits you will be able to receive after a workplace injury. A person’s average weekly wage is calculated by looking at the gross wages they received in the 26-week period before the injury occurred.
Many Delaware work injuries are temporary, meaning that the injured worker ultimately can recover and can return to work. A temporary disability, whether it is partial or total, can allow the injured employee to receive a percentage of their average weekly wage for a specific period, or until they can return to the job. However, for permanent injuries, Delaware law lists “the compensation to be paid regardless of the earning power of the injured employee after the injury.” The specifics are detailed, and the statute outlines the amount of a person’s average weekly wage and the duration of the payments for loss of a hand, arm, foot, leg, partial and total loss of specific fingers and toes, eye(s), or fractional part of an eye, for example.
If you suffered a permanent injury that resulted in the total loss of use of a body part, or an amputation, you could be eligible for permanent injury benefits.
A surviving spouse or child of a worker who suffers a fatal on-the-job injury may be eligible for burial expenses and for a portion of the deceased’s wages for a set period of time.
Sometimes injured workers enter into settlement agreements concerning their benefits, and they may agree to a final award or settlement that may be in the form of a lump sum settlement. Before you agree to any kind of settlement, it is essential to discuss your case with a workers’ compensation attorney in Delaware since settlements are typically final and cannot be reversed.
Contact a Delaware Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have any questions about seeking workers’ compensation benefits, or if you want assistance with your claim, it is important to get in touch with one of the experienced Delaware workers’ compensation attorneys at our firm. You can contact Freibott Law online, or we can be reached by phone in Wilmington at (302) 633-9000.