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Massachusetts Appellate Court Reverses Benefits for Injured Worker Due To Lower Court’s Mistake Regarding Additional Evidence

If you are hurt at work, it is important to make sure that you get the full amount of benefits that you deserve to cover your expenses and missed wages. The first step to receiving this compensation is to file a claim with the workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts. This process can become complex and overwhelming for people who are new to the system or who are dealing with debilitating injuries. One way to protect yourself and to ensure that you are treated fairly in your claim is to work with a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer. At Mass Injury Group, we are prepared to evaluate your case and help you determine the best way to get the benefits that you deserve.

In a recent claim dispute, a worker who was injured on the job filed a claim seeking compensation for permanent injuries that she sustained. She was exiting her vehicle, which was a large delivery truck when she stepped into a pothole. This caused her to fall and injure her leg. Initially, she received temporary incapacity benefits. Her employer accepted liability for the injury but claimed that the injury was not as severe as the worker was reporting in her claim.

To resolve the dispute about how severe the injury was, the worker underwent an examination with an independent medical examiner. This is a neutral doctor agreed upon by the parties who evaluates an injured worker to determine the nature and extent of the claimed injuries. The independent medical examiner concluded that the worker was experiencing a variety of conditions as a result of the fall including regional pain syndrome and that it was all directly connected to the pothole accident.

The judge adopted the independent medical examiner’s conclusions and also accepted the worker’s testimony about how her injuries affected her. This included testimony about the heavy painkillers that she was required to take as well as her inability to sleep through the night due to pain. It also allowed the parties to submit additional evidence in support of their arguments. Based on these findings, the presiding judge ordered the employer to pay for medical expenses related to the injury. The judge also determined that the worker was so incapacitated that she was unable to perform even sedentary work.

The workers’ compensation insurance company appealed these findings. The appellate court reviewed every step that the lower court took and found that the lower court made an error when it allowed the parties to submit additional evidence. Before the parties could offer additional evidence, the court needed to conclude that the case involved complex medical issues or that the examination from the independent medical examiner was insufficient. Because the court had not made either of these findings, additional evidence was improperly admitted.

If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and lost wages. One of the best ways to determine whether you are owed compensation is to work with a work injury lawyer at Mass Injury Group. We provide a free consultation so that you can learn more about how the claims process works and whether we can assist you. Dial 617-263-0060 or contact us online to get started.

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