If you are injured at work, you can receive compensation for your lost wages and medical expenses related to the injury. This is fairly straightforward when the injured employee is healthy, but when pre-existing injuries and medical conditions are involved in the analysis of determining whether the employee is entitled to benefits, the process can get much more complicated. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, the attorneys at Mass Injury Group are available to assist you with evaluating whether you are entitled to benefits in the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system.
In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether a worker’s benefits had been properly canceled. The worker in the case suffered from a pre-existing condition affecting his lower back and was injured in the same area while working as a glass installer for a vehicle repair company. He sustained the injury in a car accident while he was working in November 2016. The insurer for the employer filed a motion asking the court to discontinue the payment of benefits to the employee associated with the crash. The lower court instead modified the award of benefits and required the insurer to continue to pay partial benefits. Both parties filed an appeal.
The worker underwent an independent medical examination. Based on the report that the doctor prepared, the judge determined that the worker experienced a history of lower back problems that were not related to his job. The judge also determined that the employee underwent a spinal fusion procedure when he was very young. Although the worker testified to his history of back injuries and stated that he was pain-free before the car accident, the judge only gave the testimony partial credit. Taking all of this evidence into account, the court decided to terminate the employee’s benefits.