If you’ve suffered an injury on the job in North Carolina, it can be overwhelming to think about your financial future.
Fortunately, you can receive compensation depending on the extent and severity of your injuries.
For North Carolina workers, there are a couple tools that can help understand your potential settlement payout. One is the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Ratings Guide.
Another one is the schedule of injuries in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
Many legal practitioners use these resources as a settlement chart to help clients understand their potential payout. In this article, our workers’ compensation attorneys provide an overview of what this chart is and how it can help you navigate the process of receiving compensation after a work-related injury.
What Are Impairment Ratings in North Carolina?
Before we dive into the chart, you should understand what impairment ratings are in North Carolina. An impairment rating is a percentage that signifies the extent of your injury and its impact on your ability to perform your job duties.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) and other parties use impairment ratings to determine the amount of benefits an injured employee can receive.
A medical examiner determines permanent impairment by evaluating you once you have reached maximum medical improvement. After evaluating you in a special medical examination, the examiner will express the impairment as a percentage between 0 and 100. The larger the number, the greater the impairment level.
Why Are Impairment Ratings Important?
Impairment ratings are important because they determine how much an employer owes their injured employee in disability benefits.
Thanks to North Carolina workers’ comp law, you can easily use an impairment rating to help calculate your settlement payout. However, impairment ratings can become a controversial issue between employers and employees.
Impairment ratings are also important because they help define your permanent ability to return to work. If you have a high impairment rating, you may be unable to return to your previous job. Or you may be able to work only with significant accommodations. Whatever the case, this can have permanent consequences that strongly affect your financial future.
How Are Disability Benefits Calculated?
To calculate your disability benefits, you need to know your weekly wage and your impairment rating. Under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act, the limit for total disability benefit compensation is two-thirds of your pre-injury weekly wage.
Your weekly wage includes not only your base pay but also bonuses and overtime. Finally, you need to know the maximum possible payout for the affected body part.
North Carolina Workers’ Comp Settlement Chart
Now that we have a better understanding of impairment ratings, we can create a NC workers’ comp settlement chart.
This chart will identify an approximate settlement payout based on four factors.
- The first factor is the affected body part.
- The second factor is the value of the injury in terms of your weekly wages. As we mentioned before, your disability benefits will equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, including bonuses and overtime.
- The third factor tells you how long you will receive disability benefits for that injury.
- The final factor is your wages at the time of the injury.
By multiplying factors two, three, and four, you can determine an equivalent settlement value. Let’s first look at a few specific injuries that have predefined values under the North Carolina workers compensation statute.
For these examples, we’ll assume an average weekly wage of $1,200.
|Percentage of Weekly Wages
|Your Weekly Wages
|Loss of Thumb
|Loss of Hand
|Loss of Vision in One Eye
As you can see, the workers’ compensation injury chart makes the process easy.
Workers’ Compensation Injured Body Parts Chart
Now let’s look at another workers’ compensation injury chart that uses impairment ratings for specific body parts. If your impairment rating is less than 100%, the number of weeks of benefits you receive will be reduced proportionate to your impairment rating.
Consider the following examples (again, we assume an average weekly wage of $1,200):
|Total Loss Benefits Time
|Length of Disability Benefits
|Your Weekly Wages
It’s important to remember that the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Settlement Chart is just a guide and is not an exact calculation of your settlement payout.
The actual amount of your final settlement can vary based on a number of factors. These include the severity of your injury and the extent of your medical expenses.
Have More Questions About Our NC Workers’ Comp Settlement Chart? Contact Us
Hopefully, you now have a good estimated payout via our workers’ comp settlement chart. But maybe you have more questions about what you can expect to receive in settlement.
Or maybe you have questions about navigating the legal process. Maybe your employer is pressuring you to keep quiet about your injury.