If you are hurt at work, you can file a claim with the workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts to receive benefits for your injuries and lost wages. There are many steps that you will need to take before you are awarded benefits. Unfortunately, some insurers try to fight legitimate claims to avoid having to pay compensation. One way that an insurer may try to dispute your claim is by alleging that you have reached a level called maximum medical improvement. This determination states that your injuries have improved as much as they are going to improve and will not get better with continued treatment. This determination can affect whether you are released to return to work and the benefit payments that you receive. You can learn more about protecting your rights in a workers’ compensation claim proceeding by contacting the Boston work injury lawyers at Mass Injury Group today.
In a recent claim, an appellate court in Massachusetts was asked to decide whether a lower court properly concluded that the injured worker in the case had reached maximum medical improvement. The worker hurt his shoulder in 2013 and suffered another injury to his back the following year, and the insurer for his employer-provided benefit processed payments for each of his injuries. Then, in 2014, the insurer terminated benefit payments. It alleged that the employee’s injuries stemmed from a pre-existing condition and that his job duties were not part of his injuries. After a number of proceedings, the lower court issued a determination that the worker’s shoulder injury had reached maximum medical improvement.
The worker appealed this decision and concluded that the lower court made an error when it decided that his injury would not get better with additional treatment. The appellate court reviewed the evidence in the record, including a report from an independent medical examiner. In the report, the doctor said that the worker had reached an end result for his left shoulder injury. The doctor also said, however, that the injury would benefit from a surgical procedure.
The appellate court relied on this to reverse the lower court’s determination. The appellate court stated that there is a difference between reaching a point of maximum medical improvement and reaching the end of a course of treatment. The appellate court also reversed the lower court’s decision regarding the worker’s average weekly wage payments. The lower court did not provide an adequate explanation of how it reached the figure that it awarded to the employee as a weekly benefits payment. This payment is intended to replace weekly wages while you are recuperating from your injuries.
Injured workers suffer a great deal of pain and stress. Figuring out the workers’ compensation system should not be part of the trauma. A seasoned Boston work injury lawyer at Mass Injury Group may be able to help you receive the benefits and medical expense reimbursements that you deserve. To learn more about whether one of our lawyers can assist you, call us for a free consultation at 617-263-0060 or contact us online.