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If you are hurt at work, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system can provide you with compensation to cover your missed wages while you heal as well as payments for any medical expenses you incur as a result of your injuries. There are many work-related injuries that get better over time with rest and appropriate medical treatment. There are other unfortunate situations, however, where the injured worker will face a lifetime disability due to the accident at work.

A workers’ compensation claim can be a very long process with many steps. In the beginning, you will likely need to undergo medical exams to determine the status of your injury and when you may be able to return to work. An important determination that the court will examine is whether you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This impacts your eligibility to continue receiving benefit and medical reimbursement payments. Some insurance providers will try to argue that you’ve reached MMI before you actually have so that they are no longer required to make payments. At the Law Office of Michael O. Smith, our lead attorney will help you ensure that you receive the fair treatment that you deserve.

The Massachusetts Court of Appeal issued an opinion recently in a case where the plaintiff appealed the lower court’s decision that he reached MMI. The man was hurt at work in 2013 and suffered a left shoulder injury. He had another work injury in 2014 involving his back. The man received workers’ compensation benefits for both of his injuries until 2014 when the insurance company stopped paying benefits. The insurer argued that the man had pre-existing conditions, meaning that his injuries were not substantially related to his occupation.

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If you are injured at work, you will probably have to take some time off to address your injuries, receive medical treatment, and heal. In some situations, your injuries may resolve over time. But in unfortunate situations involving severe work-related injuries, you may be left with a permanent disability. Some insurers will try to argue that you have only a temporary or partial disability so that they can avoid paying the amount of benefits that you deserve. Our lead attorney Michael O. Smith is prepared to help you ensure that your injury is classified correctly and that you are treated fairly throughout your Boston workers’ compensation claim process.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal decided an appeal involving an employee who reportedly sustained a series of traumatic injuries while employed as an aid at a psychiatric hospital. The man was attacked by a patient resulting in devastating injuries including a fracture in his right leg, chronic pain, instability, and deep vein thrombosis. He sought benefits in a workers’ compensation claim, which he was initially awarded. The judge identified various pre-existing injuries in the order awarding benefits but concluded that the pre-existing conditions were not the primary cause of the injuries and pain that he was experiencing after the attack.

The injured employee pursued another claim for benefits sometime thereafter. The judge that heard this claim determined that the employee had become so severely injured that he was functionally unable to provide care for himself and to perform daily tasks easily. Based on this and a report from an independent medical examiner, the judge issued an order stating that the employee was permanently and totally disabled as a result of the attack.

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If you are awarded benefits in a Boston workers’ compensation case, the court will calculate your average weekly wage to determine the amount of benefits that you should receive. This figure can be calculated in a number of ways. When an employee has multiple forms of employment including seasonal employment, the calculation can become incredibly difficult and even confusing. Our lead attorney Michael O. Smith has substantial experience assisting individuals with ensuring that they receive the fair outcome that they deserve after a work accident.

Recently, an appellate court considered an appeal involving an employee who was reportedly injured while working as a seasonal employee for a painting company. The lower court awarded the employee $301.37 in weekly benefit payments based on an average weekly wage determination of $502.28. The employee also worked as a seasonal worker at a restaurant located in a hotel. He worked at the restaurant roughly 15 hours per week and earned $226.25 each week.

The only issue before the court on appeal was whether the lower court reached the appropriate conclusion regarding the average weekly wage. The parties had stipulated before the hearing on wages that the employee should be considered a concurrent employee for his work that he performed at the restaurant and as a painter. Based on the worker’s testimony that he worked seasonally as a painter and at the restaurant, the judge determined that the average weekly wage should be calculated by dividing his total earnings over the prior 52-week period in lieu of the actual number of hours that the employee worked.

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If you were hurt at work, you could be entitled to receive benefits and medical reimbursement payments for your injury until you return to good health. Sometimes, an insurer and an injured worker do not agree about when an employee who was hurt on the job is able to return to work and no longer requires medical treatment. If your right to benefits and payments is reversed, you may find yourself in a difficult financial position. The worker’s compensation system in Massachusetts is intended to support people who were hurt while working on behalf of their employer, not to leave them dealing with expensive medical bills and no income. Boston workers’ compensation lawyer Michael O. Smith provides diligent and responsive legal counsel for employees who are seeking benefits after suffering an injury on the job.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal assessed a claim involving a worker who reported experiencing a shoulder injury and a back injury while on the job. The worker was awarded benefits, but the insurance company for the employer eventually argued that there were issues of causation stemming from an alleged pre-existing injury that meant that the worker should no longer receive benefit payments. A hearing was held to determine whether the employee’s benefit payments should be terminated. The worker requested that he receive payment for the reasonable cost of the shoulder surgery that he was told he needed to fix his condition.

The court determined that the worker was at the point of maximum medical improvement for the shoulder injury, but that he still suffered a partial disability. The worker was awarded benefits for the back injury as well, concluding that it was sufficiently related to the worker’s employment. In the award, the judge also stated that the worker was seeking medical benefits in a general sense.

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It is common for some workers in certain types of work to experience more than one work-related injury during their careers. The workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts provides benefits and reimbursement for medical expenses associated with an on-the-job injury. According to these laws, the injured worker is entitled to benefits and medical payments for each injury that happens at work. In many cases, however, the employer will try to argue that the new injury is not compensable or that it happened as the result of a non-work-related incident or cause. Our seasoned team of Massachusetts work injury lawyers is standing by to assist you with ensuring that you are treated fairly during this process.

A recent case discussed a workers’ compensation claim involving a lineman who had been employed since 1996. The worker reportedly fell from a four-foot retaining wall during 2012 while he was at work. The injury required him to accept light-duty work, but he eventually was required to stop working as a result of his pain and injuries. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and sought reimbursement for payments he incurred for physical therapy. The worker argued that he suffered a second injury at the time that he permanently left work. The worker then underwent an independent medical examination to evaluate the nature and scope of his injury. In a workers’ compensation claim, the court will examine whether the injury is temporary or permanent and whether it is partial or total.

The judge denied the claim for physical therapy reimbursement, but awarded benefits regarding the original accident involving the collapsed retaining wall. As part of this finding, the judge also determined that the worker had enough training and skills to find a job in another industry that would not be physically demanding. A vocational expert performed this assessment, which involves evaluating the employee’s work history, education, experience, and other factors.

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There are a wide variety of injuries that you may suffer in your line of work including back injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and more. A common type of injury that workers experience is also disfigurement. Even if the pain of your injury subsides, you may be left with nasty scars or other altered aspects of your physical appearance. The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides compensation for disfigurement injuries. Our lead attorney Michael O. Smith provides legal counsel to employees who have suffered disfigurement injuries and is standing by to help you secure the compensation and benefits that you deserve.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered a claim involving an employee who reportedly suffered multiple disfigurements that resulted in a limp. The injuries involved his left knee. At a conference hearing regarding this injury, the lower court determined that the employee was entitled to $8,205.53 for the disfigurement. Both the insurer and the injured worker appealed.

As part of the appeal, the worker underwent a medical examination from an independent physician. The doctor concluded that the employee walked without an obvious limp in the report regarding the exam. After this, the insurer withdrew the appeal that it submitted in response to the original award. According to the court, the final matter for resolution in the case was how much compensation the employee should be received.

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Construction workers face some of the highest rates of work-related injuries because of the heavy toll that their job duties take on their bodies. In many cases, construction workers will experience a number of work-related injuries during their career. This can make future workers’ compensation claims more complicated because the insurer may argue that the new injury was related to a prior injury and is not entitled to benefit payments. Claims involving pre-existing injuries of any kind are in general more complex, which is why it is important to consult with a seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyer before proceeding with your claim. At the Law Office of Michael O. Smith, we will fight zealously to ensure that you are treated fairly.

In a recent claim, the injured worker suffered a series of work-related injuries during his long career in construction. One of the injuries was a back injury that resulted in him needing to take a year off of work. In 2014, the worker sought workers’ compensation benefits for the injury and temporary incapacity benefits and medical payments. he was moving 50-pound sandbags at the time the injury happened, which caused him to suffer immediate lower back pain and right shoulder pain. He did not go to work the following morning after the injury due to the intense pain. The worker and the insurer appealed the award of benefits for this injury.

An independent medical examiner examined the employee, which led to the parties resolving their disagreement about the benefits award. The worker had a variety of treatments to address his pain, but none of them worked. As a result, he sought additional benefits to address his ongoing and continued pain. Another impartial examination was conducted, and the judge determined that the worker experienced a work-related injury to his shoulder that was the major contributing cause to the lower back injury that he experienced.

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It’s common for a work injury case to involve multiple injuries. This can make things complicated when it comes to determining the amount of benefits and medical reimbursements that you are entitled to receive under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. There are times where it makes more sense to file multiple claims for different injuries or in situations where a pre-existing injury was exacerbated as a result of a work-related injury. Attorney Michael O. Smith has provided zealous and diligent legal counsel to injured workers throughout the region and we are ready to ensure that you are treated fairly in your claim.

The Massachusetts Court of Appeal recently considered a case where the worker had filed six different claims seeking benefit payments. The case had a very complex and lengthy procedural history. In the relevant case, the worker appealed from a decision that provided her with partial incapacity benefits for a left arm injury that happened while she was at work in 2007. The judge also awarded her medical expenses reimbursement payments for any treatment she received regarding the injury. During the same injury, the employee reported also suffering neck and upper back injuries. The judge was unclear in the decision about whether or not all of the evidence was considered in awarding reimbursement payments for these additional injuries.

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There is no such thing as an easy work-related injury, but some accidents leave the worker suffering from a lifetime of pain and disability. If you were hurt on the job, our diligent Boston workers’ compensation staff can assist you with ensuring that you receive the fair outcome that you deserve. While you are coping with the pain and stress that the injury has caused, we will assert your rights to the fullest extent possible while ensuring that you receive compassionate and responsive legal counsel.

Workers’ compensation claims can become incredibly complicated as there are many procedural rules and processes that must be followed, as a recent appellate case highlights. The case involved a truck driver who reportedly suffered serious injuries to multiple parts of his body when he fell out of his truck. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which he received. Eventually, the insurer filed a claim to modify or discontinue the weekly benefit payments. In support of its request, it offered a report from an independent medical examiner.

The judge ultimately concluded that the employee suffered a temporary total disability due to the accident and awarded the employee benefits. The judge relied on the report in reaching this decision. The insurer appealed, first alleging that the report was not a proper basis for awarding benefits. According to the insurer, the doctor relied on nothing more than a temporal proximity theory to conclude that the worker suffered an on-the-job injury. The appellate court concluded that there was enough additional evidence to show that the truck driver was experiencing serious injuries and symptoms as a result of the fall, including post-traumatic head injuries, post-concussion syndrome, and more.

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As seasoned Boston work injury lawyers, workers often ask us what will happen in situations where their employer fails to maintain a workers’ compensation insurance. In many cases, these individuals work for someone in an informal arrangement, such as an in-home care provider who provides daily, around-the-clock assistance for a disabled or elderly individual. These agreements are usually quite vague and hard to understand, and even harder to interpret in a claim. Our experienced team of legal professionals is prepared to help you defend your right to workers’ compensation benefits and the assistance that you need to cope with your injuries.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals heard a case in which a live-in care provider sought workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that she allegedly sustained while working in the home of an elderly woman and her daughter. The elderly woman offered the daughter room and board in exchange for providing a few hours of work to assist the elderly woman. The parties entered into a verbal agreement and did not write a formal agreement. The worker testified, however, that she would end up working 30-40 hours per week providing constant care to the elderly woman, including household maintenance, clerical duties, and physical assistance. The daughter did not live in the home. One day, the woman reportedly fell while walking down a staircase at the house and suffered an injury. She was unable to continue working and moved in with her cousin.

The worker brought the claim against the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund (WCTF) because the daughter and the elderly woman did not have workers’ compensation insurance. The WCTF and the worker settled, but there were a number of issues that arose in the case, requiring the judge to join the daughter as the worker’s employer. A judge can do this in situations where the employer can provide clarification.

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