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.