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empty school cafeteriaSome work injuries heal over time, while others leave the victim with permanent disabilities or disfigurement. These cases raise special issues when it comes to making sure that an employee receives what he or she deserves after such a devastating accident. As tenacious Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we have handled a wide variety of work injury claims, including those involving catastrophic injuries.

In a recent appellate opinion, an insurer appealed from a lower court’s order requiring it to pay permanent and total incapacity benefits, as well as bodily disfigurement benefits in the amount of $15,000. The lower court also awarded reasonable and necessary medical expenses, allowing the employee to obtain a motorized chairlift.

The employee worked for the city school system, where she prepared and distributed food to students. The employee was cleaning tables when she slipped and fell. She hit her right leg during the fall and sustained a serious injury. She attempted to return to work the next day but was sent home and advised to seek medical treatment. She was later diagnosed with a sprained ankle and various contusions.

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spinal fusion xrayWhen an employee suffers multiple injuries on the job over a period of time, the workers’ compensation claims process can become even more complicated. This shouldn’t stop you from receiving the benefits and fair treatment that you deserve. As seasoned Boston work injury lawyers, we are ready to help you maximize your right to recovery.

A recent decision from a Massachusetts appellate court highlights this situation. The employee worked for a city highway department as an operator of heavy equipment and general laborer when he was injured using a jumping jack compactor in 2008. Roughly one year later, the employee suffered another injury when he hit a pothole while driving a road paver, which caused him to jump out of his seat. The employee sought workers’ compensation benefits, and the judge ordered the insurer to pay total incapacity benefits on a continuing basis. The insurer appealed this finding.

The employee required a surgical lumbar fusion procedure, and the judge presiding over the case deemed the medical issues in the case to be complex. Although the insurer accepted liability for the first injury affecting the upper portion of the man’s back, it denied liability for the second injury affecting the lower portion of his back.

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Man with jackhammerInsurance companies will try many different tactics to avoid paying benefits to injured workers. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation attorneys, we are well versed in dealing with insurance companies and ensuring that our clients are treated fairly. A recent decision from Massachusetts’ Department of Industrial Accidents highlights a common strategy that insurers take to avoid paying claims.

In the case, the insurer appealed a decision awarding the worker total incapacity benefits. The employee was a union laborer who suffered a variety of industrial accidents during a period of years. A series of back injuries were the primary subject of the appeal. The work accidents that gave rise to the back injuries occurred in 1991, 1995, 1996, and 2001. The insurer accepted liability for each accident and paid the worker benefit payments as well as lump sum settlements in each case. In 2004, the employee went against the advice of several doctors and returned to heavy work. He reported experiencing moderate pain but used methadone to control it, as well as Percocet. He attempted to refuse the most intense jobs like bricklaying and jackhammering.

In April 2012, the employee suffered another back injury when he was struck with a piece of staging that another employee dropped. He left work and did not return despite doctors giving him a light-duty clearance. The man reported the claim and sought workers’ compensation benefits. In response to the claim, the insurer argued that the man was not entitled to benefits because the accident occurred as a result of his serious and willful conduct. The insurer stated that despite the doctor’s recommendation that he not return to work, the man went back anyway and performed intense work duties. The insurer also argued that as a result of his four prior injuries and medical advice, the worker had actual knowledge that the risk of returning to the same level of work involved a substantial probability that he would suffer an additional and debilitating back injury.

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hands massaging shoulderAs dedicated Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we have seen a multitude of work injury cases and assisted many employees with seeking the benefits they deserve. The claims process can be complicated, especially if you have a complicated medical history. As a recent opinion from the Department of Industrial Accidents shows, pre-existing medical conditions are a key consideration when developing a strategy to maximize your recovery.

The injured worker was employed in a position that required him to perform administrative tasks as well as occasionally restraining minors. During a fight between two clients, the plaintiff injured his right shoulder and lower back when he attempted to stop the fight. The injury required an operation to repair the torn rotator cuff as well as an operation to address his lower back injury.

The employee filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and reimbursement of his medical expenses. The employee underwent a medical examination as a part of the claim, and the doctor issued a report regarding his findings. The doctor who performed the employee’s back surgery was deposed at a hearing, as well as the doctor who operated on the employee’s torn rotator cuff.

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men in courtroomUnder Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws, some psychiatric conditions that arise from a work-related situation are compensable. In order for your psychiatric injury to be deemed work-related, it is often necessary to consult with an experienced work injury attorney. We have seen firsthand just how complicated this type of legal action can be and how devastating it can be when an injured worker fails to receive the compensation and benefits that he or she deserves.

In a recent claim, an employee appealed a decision from an administrative law judge concluding that his physical injuries had resolved and that he did not have a psychiatric condition that impaired or limited his ability to find employment. The judge also concluded that the treatment that he received for post-traumatic stress disorder was not reasonably necessary or related to the work incident.

The employee worked as a court officer from 1997 to 2012 and performed a variety of duties, such as guiding prisoners throughout the courtroom and courthouse. He was involved in an altercation with a prisoner that required him to be taken to the hospital, where he was treated for injuries to his wrist, right arm, and ribs. He complained of experiencing headaches and vertigo several months after the incident.

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Big Revolving DoorEnsuring that your medical expenses will be covered in a workers’ compensation claim is one of the biggest concerns that injured workers face. There are many rules and procedures that govern this process, which is why having a seasoned Boston work injury lawyer on your side can improve your chance of being treated fairly and receiving the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent claim, an employee was seeking compensation for a total left hip replacement. The man was an employee with an appliance company beginning in 1980. He worked as a machine operator and then as an x-ray technician, which was the position he held when he was injured. A revolving door struck his left knee, causing him to fall down and injure his left side as a result. He received treatment from two doctors. One addressed his knee injury, while the other addressed his hip. He required surgery on both knees and received benefits during the surgery and recovery periods.

The employee filed a workers’ compensation claim, but the employer rejected it, stating that a proposed left total hip replacement was not a direct cause of the work injury. The administrative judge presiding over the claim denied the request for benefits, and the employee appealed. He underwent an additional medical examination with an impartial physician, who provided a report and testimony at a hearing for the appeal. The issue in dispute at the hearing was whether the employer was required to compensate the man for the left total hip replacement.

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tick on skinThere are many different ways in which you can become injured at work. Some are obvious, while others are less common. As seasoned Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers, we are prepared to handle unique and complex work injury cases and to ensure that you receive an appropriate outcome.

In a recent claim, a man worked as a lineman for various companies. This involved working outside on power transmission equipment. The man was exposed to tick bites as a result and was eventually determined to have contracted Lyme disease. According to his medical records, the man began experiencing acute joint pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, and facial pressure. He worked until 2011, when he left due to the severity of his illness. He remained out of work until 2013, when he was determined to have no acute, active, or chronic diseases, and no further treatment was required.

In the workers’ compensation claim, an issue arose regarding the timing of when the worker was bitten by the ticks that caused him to contract Lyme disease. The man had worked for a variety of companies throughout the applicable time period, and the employers wanted to verify which employer was technically employing the worker at the time that he was infected. The judge reviewed the medical evidence and adopted the opinion of the independent medical examiner to find that the man was working for the first company involved when he was bitten. The judge ordered this employer to pay benefits, and the employer appealed.

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woman driving carThere are many ways that insurance companies may attempt to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits. Massachusetts law has several doctrines, rules, and procedures that are important to understand when seeking benefits following a work injury. At Pulgini & Norton, our seasoned team of Boston work injury lawyers has the knowledge and experience it takes to ensure that you are treated fairly.

In a recent workers’ compensation case, the worker was a teacher for many years who eventually entered the nursing field. She obtained board certifications in mental health and psychiatric nursing. She worked for an agency that assigned nurses to work in various facilities. She was working as a psychiatric nurse under contract with her employer at the time of the incident. The employee worked the night shift five days a week and would drive to and from work, which was quite a distance. The employee believed that she was allotted compensation for meals and lodging for five days each week, so she would stay in a hotel room during her five-day stretches of work and then drive home at the end of the work week. The employee did not keep records of her expenses for lodging and meals.

According to the company that employed the worker, employees were not provided with a per diem for meals and lodgings unless they met the qualifications of a traveler, and the company did not assume that workers traveled unless the worker notified the employer. The company further testified during proceedings that it paid the worker a per diem for seven days because the worker did not notify the employer that she traveled home at the end of her five-day shifts.

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men in boatA work injury can happen in virtually any context, including a car accident. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we have substantial experience assisting individuals with navigating the claims process and ensuring that they receive the maximum amount of compensation that they are entitled to get. A recent opinion from the Department of Industrial Accidents discusses a claim for benefits in a situation in which an employee was injured in a car accident on the job. The man was transporting a piece of equipment on a trailer to a job site when the vehicle he was driving was hit by a truck. The man required extensive medical treatment, including cortisone shots and physical therapy.

The man underwent an impartial medical examination, and the doctor determined that the man could perform part-time work with some limitations. Video evidence was offered during the man’s deposition that showed him fishing. After the deposition, the doctor testified that the man was capable of standing or sitting for multiple hours at a time and thereby cleared to work for 30 hours per week.

The employer’s insurer awarded the man workers’ compensation benefits on an ongoing basis, and both parties appealed. The employee also requested to provide additional medical records on the basis that the existing medical record was inadequate, but the judge denied the motion. The man argued that the court erred in denying his request to provide additional medical evidence and that the court gave improper weight to the change in the medical examiner’s report. The man challenged the video footage in particular, stating that the video did not have any bearing on whether he was able to sit or stand for a substantial period of time.

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Man Without LegIf you were hurt on the job, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is designed to provide you with benefit payments and reimbursement for your medical expenses. This sounds relatively straightforward, but the claims process can be long and complicated, especially if your injuries are complex. One of the biggest issues that our seasoned Boston work injury lawyers encounter has to do with whether or not medical treatment will be reimbursable.

This issue was discussed in a recent decision from the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. In the claim, the injured worker and the employer’s insurance carrier filed appeals after the judge denied and dismissed the worker’s claim for insurance coverage for the costs of his long-term care. The order also required the insurer to reimburse certain costs of allocating a guardianship for the worker’s property and person.

The worker suffered an injury while he was employed as a custodian and working on a hot tar roof. The worker claimed that he suffered blisters all over his left foot and burns. Although the employee was treated promptly, he suffered ulcers, ongoing infections, and other conditions in his left foot. The worker filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, and the judge awarded the worker temporary incapacity benefits for his foot injury as well as his depression.

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