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If you are injured at work, you can receive compensation for your lost wages and medical expenses related to the injury. This is fairly straightforward when the injured employee is healthy, but when pre-existing injuries and medical conditions are involved in the analysis of determining whether the employee is entitled to benefits, the process can get much more complicated. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, the attorneys at Mass Injury Group are available to assist you with evaluating whether you are entitled to benefits in the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system.

In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether a worker’s benefits had been properly canceled. The worker in the case suffered from a pre-existing condition affecting his lower back and was injured in the same area while working as a glass installer for a vehicle repair company. He sustained the injury in a car accident while he was working in November 2016. The insurer for the employer filed a motion asking the court to discontinue the payment of benefits to the employee associated with the crash. The lower court instead modified the award of benefits and required the insurer to continue to pay partial benefits. Both parties filed an appeal.

The worker underwent an independent medical examination. Based on the report that the doctor prepared, the judge determined that the worker experienced a history of lower back problems that were not related to his job. The judge also determined that the employee underwent a spinal fusion procedure when he was very young. Although the worker testified to his history of back injuries and stated that he was pain-free before the car accident, the judge only gave the testimony partial credit. Taking all of this evidence into account, the court decided to terminate the employee’s benefits.

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After you file a workers’ compensation claim, there are a number of steps that must be completed before you receive a benefits award. This involves reviewing medical records and, in some instances, undergoing a medical examination with an independent medical examiner agreed upon by both parties in the claim. Part of the analysis also involves determining whether you have reached maximum medical improvement, which is the best possible level of recovery that a doctor believes you will achieve following your injury. This determination has important implications for your ability to return to work and engage in other activities. At Mass Injury Group, or dedicated team of Boston workers’ compensation lawyers are prepared to assist you with ensuring that your claim is handled appropriately.

A worker in a recent case suffered injuries while working as a nurse. She was attempting to lift a patient in 2016 when she felt lower back pain that radiated down through her right leg. At the end of her shift, she received treatment in the emergency room of the hospital and did not return to work. She was unable to resume her regular duties due to her pain but did perform clerical work at the hospital with reduced hours. She reported experiencing continued pain and was unable to work all of the hours assigned to her.

The worker filed a claim for temporary total incapacity benefits, and it was granted. The insurer provided the worker with roughly $937 in benefits each week based on her average weekly wages of roughly $1,622. The commissioner assigned to the claim also ordered the employer to pay benefits to the injured worker based on her actual weekly wages instead of the average for a short duration. The insurance company appealed, which required the employee to undergo an independent medical examination. The medical report produced as part of the exam stated that the worker had reached the point of maximum medical improvement but that she was experiencing continued pain in her lower back that impaired her ability to perform her job duties. The employee testified during a hearing regarding her pain and the attempts she had made to find work.

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There are numerous categories of employees who work across state lines. Whether it is someone in the transportation industry or a healthcare worker, understanding how your travel can impact your right to workers’ compensation benefits is important. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers with compensation for missed wages and medical expenses that result from a work-related injury. Each state has its own workers’ compensation system. If your injury happens in another state, then your home state may claim that the state where the accident occurred is responsible for providing you with benefits or vice versa. The last thing anyone wants to deal with after being hurt at work is a dispute about which jurisdiction applies. At Mass Injury Group, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers are available to help you navigate your work injury claim and to receive the benefits that you deserve in a timely manner.

The Massachusetts Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion in a case that involved an employee who traveled for work. The employee operated a tractor-trailer on behalf of his employer who was located in Pennsylvania. The process that he had to complete to become hired and a job offer was not extended until he completed an orientation program, which he attended in Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania. He was offered a job in Pennsylvania and he accepted at the conclusion of the orientation.

The following year, the employee was using the same truck to mainly perform deliveries and other work responsibilities in Massachusetts. In October 2012, he was working in the course and scope of his employment in Maine and experienced a back injury. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts. The judge dismissed the claim on the basis that it had no jurisdiction over a work injury that happened in Maine. The employee appealed this decision and won. The court concluded that enough facts existed to justify the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system extending jurisdiction over the claim.

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If you work in a physically demanding job, your body handles a lot of wear and tear. This can lead to serious long-term work-related injuries. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts provides a way for injured workers to receive compensation for their lost wages and medical expenses related to the injury. When it comes to very physical occupations like construction, however, it is not uncommon for a worker to experience regular injuries that build up over time. At Mass Injury Group, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers are standing by to assist you with ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve after a painful work-related injury.

A Massachusetts appellate court recently issued an opinion in a case involving a construction worker with pre-existing injuries. The worker suffered a back injury that caused him to miss a year of work. Later, in 2014, he filed a claim for incapacity benefits as well as reimbursements for medical expenses when he was injured while moving 50-pound sandbags. Although he tried to go to work the next morning the pain was intense. The judge approved the claim and provided medical expenses to cover treatment including a possible surgery to address the injury.

The parties both filed an appeal finding the award unsatisfactory. An independent medical examiner was brought in to conduct a physical exam of the employee and to ascertain the cause and extent of his injuries. The parties were able to come to an agreement and the man underwent medical treatment for his injuries. Unfortunately, the treatments did not help. He sought additional benefits and the judge approved the claim. The insurer appealed the decision which required another independent medical examination. Based on this, the judge issued an opinion stating that the man suffered a work-related injury and that it was the major cause of his pain apart from his lower back injury.

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The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers with benefits for injuries they sustain while on the job. This includes sudden accidents as well as injuries related to repetitive movements. This latter type of injury can be more difficult to diagnose and identify because it usually happens over an extended period of time. In many cases, a worker will attempt to work through the pain and may not know what is causing the injury to begin with. At Mass Injury Group, our compassionate and experienced Boston work injury lawyers are available to help you evaluate your situation and whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Recently, a workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts involved a person who worked as a sorter for a mail carrier. This job involved overhead lifting in addition to squatting. In 2009, the worker experienced pain in her neck, back, and shoulder. She informed her employer about this repetitive motion injury and took some time off work. She later returned to work even though the doctor advised her not to because she was concerned that she would be terminated from her job. A few years later, the pain in her back became so severe that she left her job. A few days later, she was doing yard work at home when she reported hurting her back. She received disability payments as well as Social Security disability payments.

A few years after the at-home injury, the woman applied for benefits based on a repetitive back strain injury while working for the mail carrier. Medical evaluations were conducted, and the presiding judge adopted the opinion of one of the experts, concluding that the woman experienced a degenerative disc disease that was related to her job functions. The judge also determined that she was permanently and totally disabled as a result. Because she had worked for so many years as a sorter, the judge rejected the argument that her injury was related to something other than her job.

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Although some working relationships are clear cut, there are instances where it is not clear whether someone is in a formal employee position. This comes up most frequently when someone begins providing in-home care for an ailing individual. Many of these employment positions can have very informal employment relationships. At Mass Injury Group, we proudly provide legal counsel to individuals who are dealing with workers’ compensation claims in Massachusetts.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case where an in-home care provider who claimed that she fell down a set of stairs on the backside of a house when she was providing in-home care for an elderly woman. The fall was so severe that she was unable to return to work and had to move-in with a relative, according to her claim. The woman began working as an in-home care provider when the elderly woman’s daughter asked her whether she would be interested in the job and explained what it would involve. The worker testified that the job required roughly 30 to 40 hours of care each week and taking care of daily maintenance tasks around the home.

The worker sought benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. According to her claim, her employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance when she was injured while working. The claimant and the WCTF reached a settlement agreement but her employer was not part of the agreement. This created many procedural issues with the case and the parties were confused as to how to resolve the dispute. A judge has the power under Massachusetts law to join an uninsured employer in a claim. The judge exercised that authority in this matter.

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Although many people have a job that requires them to report to the same store, office, or location every single day, some employees travel. This can involve traveling across state lines and over great distances. For workers’ compensation claims, this can create issues about which state has jurisdiction over the claim. If you submit a workers’ compensation claim and the receiving commission thinks it is filed in the wrong state it could create serious delays when it comes to receiving benefits and reimbursements for medical expenses. At Mass Injury Group, we proudly assist Massachusetts workers with ensuring that they receive the fair outcome they deserve in a workers’ compensation claim.

A Court of Appeal in Massachusetts recently considered a case that involved a dispute about an employee who drove throughout several states as part of his job as a tractor-trailer driver. He entered into a contract with a Pennsylvania-based employer that involved a complicated hiring process. The worker was required to complete a training process that involved traveling to Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania. He was offered a job working in Pennsylvania at the end of his training and he accepted this offer.

In the year that followed, he drove the same truck to perform deliveries and work duties, most of which happened in Massachusetts. He was working for his employer in Maine making a delivery when he injured his back in October 2012. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which the presiding judge dismissed on the basis that the court in Massachusetts did not have jurisdiction over the claim. According to the judge, the injury occurred in Maine and the corresponding claim needed to be filed in Maine.

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Construction workers have an incredibly physical job, so it is no surprise that they experience job-related injuries on a regular basis. It is also not surprising for a construction worker to suffer numerous injuries on the job during the course of his or her career. Although each injury is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, repeated injuries to the same area of the body can create issues when it comes to proving causation in future claims. Under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system, a work-related injury involving a pre-existing injury requires a showing that the new injury is the substantial cause of the worker’s need for benefits. At Mass Injury Group, our experienced team of Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys is prepared to help you ensure that you receive the fair treatment and outcome that you deserve after suffering a work-related accident.

A recent workers’ compensation claim dispute in Massachusetts highlights this issue. The construction worker in the claim suffered several injuries during his long career including a back injury that forced him to be out of work for a year. Some years later, he was moving 50-pound sandbags when he experienced an injury to his back. He also experienced right shoulder pain and was not able to go to work after the injury happened. He sought workers’ compensation benefits for the injury in 2014 as well as reimbursements for related medical expenses. The insurance company for his employer challenged the award of benefits.

The man underwent an examination with an independent medical examiner and the parties resolved the dispute about whether he was entitled to benefits. He received several medical treatments to try to resolve his pain, but they did not work. He filed another claim for benefits to address the long-term pain that he was experiencing. After another examination with an independent medical examiner and a hearing, the judge concluded that the primary cause of his pain and other symptoms was the second lower-back injury and not his original back injury. The insurer appealed again, and the reviewing court concluded that the lower court did not use the right standard to determine whether the new injury or the pre-existing injury was the major cause of the request for benefits.

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An injury at work can leave the victim in a seriously painful situation. This doesn’t just include the physical aspects of the injury but the inconvenience and uncertainty that he or she now faces in his or her life. From being unable to earn your regular wage to being unable to enjoy the same activities that you did before, work injuries are a major event for most victims. What some people don’t realize about the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is that it offers benefits for individuals who suffer psychiatric injuries as well as physical injuries, too. At Mass Injury Group, our experienced team of Boston workers’ compensation lawyers is prepared to help you determine whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries that you sustained regardless of whether they are physical or psychological.

A recent case from the Massachusetts Court of Appeals involved a worker who served as a developmental aid. This included working with clients who suffered from developmental disabilities and helping them with using the restroom, which was physically demanding. During 2011, the worker experienced two injuries on the job beginning with a fall that she suffered while helping a patient. This injury resulted in a back, left knee, shoulder, and neck injury. Her next accident affected her left knee. She filed a claim for benefits, which the employer accepted and filed another claim seeking benefits for her injuries including a claimed psychiatric injury.

An initial hearing was held, and the presiding administrative law judge determined that she was not able to lift anything or to stand for an extended period of time due to her injuries. The judge also concluded that her injuries left her with limited mobility. Regarding her psychiatric injury, the judge determined that because of her extremely low mobility, the pain she experienced, and the total overall impact that her injuries had on her personal life, she was experiencing mental distress. The record showed that at one point the woman was placed in a hospital for five days because she reported having suicidal thoughts. A doctor stated in one of the reports admitted into evidence that she was totally disabled but that through psychotherapy and pain management she may be able to overcome some of her limitations.

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If you are hurt at work, one of the first things you should do is file a workers’ compensation claim to receive reimbursements for your medical expenses and missed wages associated with the injury. Massachusetts maintains a workers’ compensation system that provides these benefits, but the system can be difficult to navigate and understand especially if this is your first time filing a claim. The dedicated lawyers at Mass Injury Group have substantial experience handling Boston workers’ compensation claims and are prepared to stand by your side during this challenging time.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered a claim where the employee suffered an injury involving his left shoulder. The insurance carrier for the employer provided benefits to the employee to cover his missed wages. A few months later, the insurance company stopped paying benefits and said that the worker suffered a preexisting injury that was primarily to blame for his pain and injury, not the work-related conditions.

In response, the employee sought the maximum amount of benefits available for the injuries that he experienced at work. The judge presiding over the claim determined that the employee was entitled to benefit payments for the injury affecting his shoulder. The parties both appealed this decision, which means they challenged this outcome as involving some type of reversible error. The worker then requested compensation for a shoulder surgery. The judge, however, reviewed medical opinions and determined that the worker had reached a status called maximum medical improvement regarding his shoulder injury and that the surgery was therefore unnecessary. The parties filed another appeal.

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