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Average Weekly Wage

Definition - What does Average Weekly Wage mean?

Average weekly wage (AWW) is the amount of money an individual earns each week performing their job. If an individual is injured due to the negligence of another person and seeks compensation by filing a personal injury claim, if they win their claim they may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical care expenses, and lost wage compensation.

One method used to calculate the amount of wage loss compensation which should be awarded to the injured worker is to calculate their average weekly wage then multiply that amount by the number of weeks which the worker is unable to work due to their personal injury. The greater the average weekly wage, the greater the personal injury award for missed work.

Calculating the Average Weekly Wage

The formula used to calculate the exact average weekly wage can vary by state and by injury. For a general average, however, you can estimate the amount of wages earned for the year and divide that amount by 52. For example, if you earn $50,000 per year you can take $50,000 and divide it by 52 and get an average weekly wage of $961. If a worker missed three weeks of work due to a personal injury the compensation for wage loss for those three weeks is approximately $2,883.

Workers Compensation and Injury

If a worker is injured in a workers' compensation case there may be additional state regulations. For instance, some states have established state average weekly wage estimates which are used to calculate wage loss. These averages are based on average incomes of workers in the state.

In states which use average income calculations the amount of compensation could be limited to the state average weekly wage. For example, the state of Texas does not allow compensation for workers' wages to exceed the state average weekly wage which is currently 88 percent the average weekly wage in covered employment. Talk to a work comp or injury lawyer if you have questions about calculating your lost income after an injury.

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