Wages: Prospect of Employment


Rutecki v. First Liberty Ins. Corp. [06/16/16] 2016 MTWCC 6 Where a vocational rehabilitation counselor credibly testified that numerous openings in the types of jobs for which the claimant had been approved had been available in the claimant’s labor market for the past year, and that the claimant would have no difficulty finding employment in one of those positions, this Court concluded that the claimant had a reasonable prospect of employment.

Huffman v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. [11/16/98] 1998 MTWCC 83 A 48-year old driver in the movie and television industry hurt his shoulder while working on the production of Lonesome Dove in Montana. With regard to wage loss benefits, the appropriate period to assess wages is the full year post-injury, given evidence that claimant's first post-injury job was not representative of his post-injury wages. See, section 39-71-123(3), MCA (1993). WCC was satisfied that since claimant returned to work, he has experienced periods of unemployment he would not otherwise have experienced. He was also forced to accept lower-paying, less physically demanding jobs when higher-paying, more physically demanding jobs, would have been available to him but for his injury. On a long term basis one year and more claimant has suffered a wage loss exceeding $2.00 an hour because of his injury.