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How is a 12% rating figured North Carolina

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  • How is a 12% rating figured North Carolina

    I had an accident at work where I crushed my foot, I had 3 surgeries and my lawyer just informed me that the dr gave me a 12% disability rating, of course we are getting a 2nd opinion because I can hardly walk. Question is what is the way 12% would be calculated

  • #2
    12% to the foot vs. other options, in general

    This is how it works generically and is not meant to be specific legal advice for you. You already have a lawyer to give you that.

    The foot has a value of 144 weeks under NCGS 97-31. 12% of 144 is 17.28 weeks, multiplied by weekly comp rate. For example, if one had a comp rate of $500 per week, a 12% rating to the foot is worth $8640.

    But if one is unable to work, or if one has returned to work making less money than was earned pre-injury, then under NC law one can choose to take the most remunerative calculation of disability. Depending on when the person was hurt, the total disability payment can continue until death.

    If the injured worker is back working now but making less money than was made before he was hurt, and the loss of income is due to the injury/restrictions/limitations fo the injury, then he may be entitled to ongoing partial disability. Often the loss of earning capacity partial disability money under GS 97-30 is more than the rating. Here is an example with made-up numbers:

    injury date of 4-4-2011;

    AWW of $750, (comp rate of $500)

    return to work 4-5-2012 making $540 per week.

    This example would have 248 weeks left to draw temp or permanent partial under GS 97-30. The comp rate for that would be $750 - $540 = $210 divided by 2/3 = $140 per week, payable for up to 248 weeks. That adds up to $34,720. Compare that number to the rating amount of $8700. If a person has been hurt since 6-23-2011 then this calculation turns out even better.

    But if the worker is still out of work due to the injury, then he can get the comp rate until he returns to work, dies, or screws up and get his benefits suspended for non-compliance with voc rehab or medical care or something like that. Unless he was hurt after 6-23-2011, in which case he may be capped at 500 weeks of wage loss benefits.

    As you can see, the rating money is the best deal only in some situations. Mainly, it is the best deal when the worker has returned to suitable employment for pay roughly equal to or greater than the pre-injury AWW. Then the rating may be the best deal and getting a second opinion on it makes sense.

    If the worker is not back at work earning as much as he did before the injury, and it is due to the injury, but his lawyer is recommending that he accept the rating money, then the lawyer better be able to explain all this to the worker and why it makes sense to take the rating money.

    If the lawyer cannot do that then the injured worker probably needs to get a second legal opinion from a lawyer who actually understands NC workers' comp and knows how to maximize the outcome.

    Sorry about the anger icon. I cannot figure out how to make it disappear!
    Last edited by complwyr; 04-05-2012, 08:39 PM.
    Bob Bollinger, Attorney
    Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
    Charlotte, NC


    • #3
      Thanks Bob your always a help, that really sucks because I am back to work but still hurting like crazy, I have returned to work and making the same money but I will never be able to run or jog again. It looks like I will roughly be getting 20,000 for two years of out of work, 3 surgeries and a lifetime of pain


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