So ….. you got hurt on the job, can’t go back to driving and now are making less … a lot less than you were as a driver. What now?
When this happens, you may be entitled to receive a wage differential benefit. The wage differential benefit is equal to two thirds of the difference between what you are earning now and what you would have been making at your old job.
One interesting part of this benefit is that it tracks the raises that would have received had you kept working in your old job where all of the other benefit levels are frozen in time as of the date of your accident.
You are entitled to get the wage differential benefit for the longer of 5 years or until you turn age 67. This means that for drivers who are hurt after age 62, you would only get the differential benefit for 5 years.
One thing that commonly happens in cases like this is that the case is settled for the cash value of that differential. There are a lot of reasons why insurance companies or drivers may want to do that. Weighing out your options is one good reason to get legal help if you potentially have a wage differential case.
You should also be aware that when you are making a claim for a wage differential, you do not get to make a claim for permanency. You have to choose one or the other. In cases where the differential is small or you are near the end of your work life, it may make more sense to pursue a claim for permanency simply because it will put more money in your pocket. These are decisions that should be made with the help of well-qualified worker’s compensation lawyers.
Not being able to go back to work as a truck driver has a huge economic impact on your life and the well-being of you and your family. Determining what is the best option for you and the best way to maximize the money you receive from your case is something that is best done with qualified legal help.
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.