There are a number of variables that a workers’ compensation judge must consider when determining if someone who was injured at work should receive benefits through the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. One of these factors, and a frequently debated issue in workers’ compensation claims, is whether the injury that happened is related to the worker’s job duties. The average weekly wage that the injured employee earned is another example of an issue that comes up routinely. Regardless of the challenges in your claim for benefits, you deserve knowledgeable and attentive legal counsel.
A recent legal opinion discussed some of the common issues that come up in workers’ compensation claims regarding the cause of the injury and the weekly wage that was earned. The employee in the case suffered an injury while he was picking up different objects on the job. He reported feeling a sharp pain in his back. At a hearing involving his claim for worker’s compensation benefits, the man testified that he received many different forms of payment including cash, corporate checks, and personal checks. Based on this testimony and other evidence, the judge issued an order stating that the man’s average weekly wage totaled $800.00. The order also stated that the worker had received unemployment payments.
After the hearing, an independent medical examiner performed an examination to assess the man’s injuries. The doctor’s report stated that the man was able to work in a full-time position subject to a few limitations. The report also indicated that the man had a preexisting condition that was exacerbated by lifting objects at work and the injury to his back. According to the doctor’s assessments, the limitations would likely be unnecessary in the future.