Hello, my name is Peter Moran with the law firm of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley.
I focus my practice in the area of workers compensation. When one is injured, one of the first items that needs to be determined is the calculation of one's average weekly wage, because that is what the benefit rate for your claim is going to be based on. In general terms, the average weekly wage is calculated using the 52 weeks prior to the date of injury. In many cases, however, an individual has not worked a full 52 weeks. In those instances, an alternative method might be used. For example, if one works only three weeks prior to the date of injury, the insurer might use a like employee- someone similarly situated to you within the same company. If one has worked 38 weeks, however, that probably is a reasonable number to use in a calculating your average weekly wage. A couple of other things to remember, if one is employed by another employer at the time of injury and that employer is insured under Massachusetts Workers Compensation law, then those wages are also included in calculating your average weekly wage. Keep in mind, calculation of average weekly wage does include overtime and bonuses. As a general rule, it does not include fringe benefits such as pensions and health insurance. In limited circumstances, known as a prevailing wage calculation, those benefits might be included. Typically, that calculation is only used in public work type jobs. As you can see the calculation of your average weekly wage can be complicated.
Please feel free to call us here at Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley and we'll make sure that your average weekly wage is calculated correctly, and that your benefits are maximized to the fullest extent possible.