When a worker is injured on the job, weekly compensation benefits are determined by looking at their pre-injury average wage. In Virginia, this usually means looking at the 52 weeks leading up to the date of the workplace accident. Clients of Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau often have questions about these important calculations. One issue that arises is when the claimant earns a promotion in the weeks or months prior to the crash in the company truck or fall at the construction site. ABRAMS LANDAU clients ask:
- “Are the lower wages from the old job averaged in ?”
- “Am I penalized if I just started the new position with the same company ?”
- “What if my new, higher-paying job has completely different duties ?”
There are several cases that are instructive. In Fleshman v. Checkers Check Cashing, 74 O.W.C. 148 (1995), the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, held that where an employee receives a promotion prior to the injury, the average weekly wage should reflect the higher salary. Likewise, in the car of Berry v. Hoffman Beverage Co., 75 O.W.C. 283 (1996), the conclusion of the court was that a lower training wage should not be included in the workers Average Weekly Wage. “The bottom line,” according to Herndon Virginia lawyer Landau, “is to use copies of pay stubs from the job you were actually performing at the time of the workplace accident for your calculations of Average Weekly Wage.” If you or someone you know or care for has been injured and become disabled as the result of an on the job car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle crash and there are questions about Workers Compensation law, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555). SEE PART 2 in TOMORROW’S POST !