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.