Hannah Bowie represented a claimant in a denied workers’ compensation case which resulted in up to $216,000 of wage loss benefits for our client who injured himself while at work.
Our client installed roofing paper on a house in Roanoke and did not receive any safety instructions or equipment. He was a carpentry assistant, not a roofer; he only went per his employer’s request. After ascending the ladder and installing half the roofing paper, he lost balance and fell, sustaining multiple injuries including a broken back.
The employer, however, testified that all employees are provided safety instructions and equipment at all job sites. Hannah hired a private investigator to document safety equipment used by the roofing company. She believe our client and rejected the Employer’s story. The private investigator took several pictures confirming the claim that no employees used safety harnesses while working on a roof.
After weighing the both testimonies and all evidence, the Deputy Commissioner found that the Claimant’s supervisor was not credible. She also found that the defendants failed to prove our client violated a safety rule.
Another dispute was the Claimant’s weekly wage. While he testified that he made $130 a day, received payment in cash weekly, and worked five or six days per week, the Defendant disagreed. He testified that he only worked two days a week; however, the employer submitted no payroll records.
Since the Deputy Commissioner previously found the Defendant to not be credible and there was no corroborating documentation, she accepted the Claimant’s testimony and ruled his weekly wage was $650 per week. This is important because worker’s compensation cases provide 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wage. This element of a claim is often agreed to or overlooked. However, Hannah proved the average weekly wage through the credible testimony of our client.
Unfortunately, the Deputy Commissioner found that the Claimant did not suffer a brain injury from the accident. However, Hannah appealed this decision to the full workers’ compensation commission which reversed this decision. The Commission found that our client visited a concussion specialist. There, he received a diagnosis of post-concussive syndrome.
Workers’ compensation was ordered to pay for all of the Claimant’s medical expenses and 2/3 of his average weekly wage from October 2020 onward due to the Claimant’s brain injury.
This case was tough. Attorney Hannah Bowie went above and beyond by hiring a private investigator to prove that the job site used no safety equipment. By proving that the employer was dishonest, we won a victory for our client to pay for his medical treatment and his wage loss.
Our client simply wanted compensation for his inability to work and coverage for medical expenses. We were happy to provide him the victory needed to help him recover financially and physically.