Massachusetts Appellate Court Affirms Decision Finding Injured Man Capable of Working 30 Hours Per Week Following Job-Related Car Accident

There are many different ways that a work injury can take place, including a car accident while on the job. Many individuals are required to drive as part of their work duties, and they are just as susceptible to being involved in a crash as other individuals on the roadway. Our seasoned team of Boston workers’ compensation lawyers has handled numerous work-related car accident claims, and we are prepared to help you fight for the benefits that you need and deserve.

In a recent decision by the Department of Industrial Accidents in Massachusetts, a man was injured in a car accident while he was working. He was tasked with transporting a large section of equipment on a tractor trailer to another job site. The vehicle that he was driving was struck by another truck, and he required extensive medical care following the crash.

The man applied for workers’ compensation benefits, and he was seen by an impartial medical examiner. The examiner determined that the worker was able to perform some part-time job tasks, subject to limitations. At the worker’s deposition, the insurer offered videotape footage showing the man fishing. After this, the medical examiner determined that the man was able to sit and stand for multiple hours and that he could work for 30 hours each week.

The employee also filed a motion seeking to provide additional medical evidence, stating that the medical record was insufficient. The judge denied this request, and the employee challenged the denial. The man was awarded workers’ compensation benefits, and both parties filed appeals. The worker argued that the court did not give proper weight to the fact that the medical examiner changed his opinion after reviewing the video surveillance and that the video should not have been permitted as a basis for the change in opinion.

The reviewing court rejected the man’s argument, stating that the doctor did not change the analysis regarding the man’s ability to return to work based on the video of the man fishing. Instead, the doctor specifically stated that the duration of time that the man was shown fishing in the video suggested that the man was capable of maneuvering, bending, twisting, and performing other physical tasks. This provided sufficient evidence for the doctor to change his analysis, and the lower court properly relied on this evidence in determining that the man could perform 30 hours of work per week. Accordingly, the reviewing panel dismissed the worker’s appeal.

If you suffered an injury while you were working, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are many different types of injuries that are eligible for benefit payments, and it is important that you speak to a knowledgeable work injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and to explore your legal options. We proudly serve injured workers throughout Massachusetts, which means we understand how stressful and confusing this situation can be for you. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 1-617-263-0060 or contact us online.

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