I had a hearing this morning about a loss of earning capacity issue at the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Loss of earning capacity cases typically involve an Arizona injured worker who has suffered typically a back, shoulder, head, hip or multiple extremity injury that resulted in permanent physical impairment, and permanent work restrictions. The injured worker has a loss of earning capacity because he or she cannot go back to work and earn what they were making at the date of injury.
In analyzing a labor market for hypothetical jobs available in Phoenix, for example, we have to hire labor market consultants to assess whether there are jobs within the injured worker’s restrictions that are “reasonably available”, and within the open labor market (this is best defined as jobs available to everyone).
The job is “reasonably available” if someone can obtain it on a regular basis, taking into consideration the number of positions available, the competition for those positions, the regularity and permanency of the positions, and the likelihood that a prospective employer will give the employee as much consideration as someone who is either not handicapped or has not filed a workers’ compensation claim. See the case Zimmerman v Industrial Commission.
An Arizona injured worker will have a difficult time showing his or her loss of earning capacity without an attorney that frequently handles workers’ compensation cases statewide including Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Prescott.
Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation on your workers’ compensation case. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.