Massachusetts Appellate Court Upholds Compensation Award to Injured Employee who Suffered a Disfigurement at Work

There are a wide variety of injuries that you may suffer in your line of work including back injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and more. A common type of injury that workers experience is also disfigurement. Even if the pain of your injury subsides, you may be left with nasty scars or other altered aspects of your physical appearance. The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides compensation for disfigurement injuries. Our lead attorney Michael O. Smith provides legal counsel to employees who have suffered disfigurement injuries and is standing by to help you secure the compensation and benefits that you deserve.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered a claim involving an employee who reportedly suffered multiple disfigurements that resulted in a limp. The injuries involved his left knee. At a conference hearing regarding this injury, the lower court determined that the employee was entitled to $8,205.53 for the disfigurement. Both the insurer and the injured worker appealed.

As part of the appeal, the worker underwent a medical examination from an independent physician. The doctor concluded that the employee walked without an obvious limp in the report regarding the exam. After this, the insurer withdrew the appeal that it submitted in response to the original award. According to the court, the final matter for resolution in the case was how much compensation the employee should be received.

At another hearing, the judge was able to make a visual observation of the employee and the judge noted that the worker’s walk had a slight limp. The judge also determined that the employee was a credible witness when he testified about his knee injury. Also, the judge adopted testimony from the insurer’s private investigator who had surveilled the employee during the pendency of the claim. All of these factors taken together, the judge determined that the employee should receive $10,940.70 for his injury, which he described as falling in the middle span of compensation available for this type of injury.

The insurer appealed again on the basis that the judge did not give enough weight to the doctor’s report stating that the employee did not walk with an obvious limp. The Court of Appeal disagreed on the basis that there was not a medical issue in the case and that the only issue for resolution was how much compensation the man should receive. Finally, reviewing the report and the decision order, the appellate court concluded that the judge’s determination about the limp was sufficiently in line with what the doctor concluded in the report.

Work injuries are always stressful and the Massachusetts workers’ compensation claims process can be very confusing. If you were hurt at work, we are here to help you understand your legal rights and to help you secure the benefits and compensation that you may deserve. Attorney Michael O. Smith has over two decades of experience representing injured parties in a wide variety of matters. He provides a free consultation to discuss your situation and how he may be able to assist you. Contact us today at 617-263-0060 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.