Badge
Badge
Badge
Badge
Badge
Badge

When you suffer an injury on the job, you may be able to recover and return to a normal functioning level. This can be a contentious issue in cases, especially when you argue that you still need medical treatment, but the insurer argues that you have reached maximum medical improvement. When complex medical conditions are involved, it can become even more frustrating. Part of the intent behind the workers’ compensation system is to ensure that an employee has the financial support that he or she needs to obtain medical treatment for the work-related injury. As seasoned Boston work injury attorneys, we have handled a variety of workers’ compensation cases on behalf of injured workers throughout the region. Our team will fight zealously for you to ensure that you receive the fair treatment and outcome that you deserve.

A recent case explored a situation involving an employee who reportedly suffered a shoulder injury followed by a back injury while at work. The employee received benefits, but the insurer eventually raised issues including causation, that the employee had a pre-existing condition, and that his injury was not caused by a work-related condition. At the hearing to determine whether the employee was entitled to benefits, the employee requested payment for the reasonable cost of a shoulder surgery to address his shoulder condition.

The judge concluded that the employee had reached maximum improvement on his shoulder injury but that he was partially disabled as a result. The judge also awarded benefits for the back injury, finding it to be causally related to his job duties. Both parties appealed. The judge also noted that the employee had sought medical benefits in a general fashion.

Continue Reading ›

Workers often experience several injuries throughout their careers. The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides benefits and medical expense payments to injured workers for injuries that happen as a result of their job duties. These benefits are available for each injury that happens in the course and scope of employment. In some situations, however, prior injuries can create complicated situations in benefits claims involving new injuries. For this reason, it is essential to consult with an experienced Boston work injury lawyer to ensure that you are being treated fairly and that you are receiving the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent workers’ compensation claim, the employee worked as a lineman starting in 1996. In 2012, he reportedly suffered injuries when a four-foot retaining wall on which he was standing collapsed. He kept working after the accident until he had shoulder surgery. After that, he returned to light-duty work in January 2013 until he left work in April of that same year claiming that he was unable to work without extreme pain even in a light-duty capacity. The worker sought benefits for this injury as well and sought compensation for physical therapy to address neck pain.

The worker also received benefits for his injuries. As part of the claims process, he underwent an independent medical examination. Based on the medical evidence and testimony from the employee submitted, the judge rejected the employee’s claim that he suffered a second work-related injury in 2013 that allegedly caused him to leave work, denying the employee’s claim for physical therapy to address pain in his neck. Regarding the original accident involving the collapsing retaining wall, the court awarded benefits in the amount of $671.32 based on an earning capacity of $400.00 per week.

Continue Reading ›

Workers’ compensation claims can be confusing. There are many steps in the process and a variety of considerations that are taken into account before you are awarded weekly benefit payments. One of these considerations is how much your average weekly wage is, which is used to determine the amount of benefits that you will receive. There are a variety of ways that judges can calculate your average weekly wage and in some situations the judge may not take the right approach, resulting in lower benefit payments than you deserve. Our dedicated team of Boston work injury lawyers are ready to assist you with ensuring that you receive the appropriate treatment in the claims process.

In a recent claim, the appellate court was asked to consider whether the lower court calculated the injured employee’s average weekly wage correctly. The insurer appealed a determination from the lower court judge that the employee’s average weekly wage was $1,726.37 after the judge concluded that new evidence about the employee’s wages rendered a stipulation between the parties invalid. According to the insurer, the employee did not appeal from the conference order including this determination and did not file a request to submit a late appeal and the lower court also made an error regarding a determination that the employee suffered an injury to his right knee as a result of the accident.

First, regarding the knee injury, the judge concluded that the lower court made improper findings in its order based on the fact that the worker and the insurer had signed a stipulation stating that the only issue for consideration in the hearing involved the employee’s average weekly wage and that there were no medical issues in dispute.

Continue Reading ›

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers with compensation for a variety of injuries that happen on the job including sudden accidents and injuries that result from repetitive and ongoing tasks. The system also provides compensation for situations where the employee suffers a disfigurement as a result of a work-related accident. Ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve and that you are being treated fairly can be stressful, especially if you are coping with the inconvenience of your injuries, pain, and being out of work. Let our dedicated team of seasoned Boston work injury lawyers at Pulgini & Norton assist you with this matter.

In a recent case, the employee reportedly suffered disfigurement in the form of a limp as the result of a work injury associated with his left knee. In a conference hearing to determine whether the employee was entitled to benefits, the presiding judge awarded $8,205.53 for the disfigurement. Both parties appealed and the employee underwent an independent medical examination. Although the resulting report did not address the limp, the doctor did note that the employee walked “without an obvious limp.” Following this report, the insurer withdrew its appeal of the original order. The judge stated that the only issue left to resolve was the amount of compensation to be awarded to the employee.

The judge observed the employee at another hearing and noted that the employee walked with a slight limp. The judge also credited the employee’s testimony regarding his limp and the insurer’s witness, who conducted surveillance on the employee. The investigator testified that the employee did walk with a limp. Based on this evidence and other evidence submitted, the judge awarded the employee $10,940.70, which was calculated by multiplying the state average weekly wage on the date that the employee suffered the injury by 10. The judge considered this to be in the middle range of awards.

Continue Reading ›

Work-related injuries can be incredibly stressful, especially if you fear losing your job or the financial consequences of taking time off to let your injury heal. Work injuries can also be difficult to diagnose when they are caused by repetitive tasks like lifting, bending, or sorting compared to a sudden injury or accident that is clearly linked to your job duties. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers provide legal guidance to individuals who have suffered work-related injuries. We are ready to put our experience and knowledge to use on your behalf so that you can receive the benefit award or settlement that you deserve.

In a recent case, the plaintiff worked as a sorter for a common mail carrier, which required lifting and overhead work as well as squatting. In 2009, she began complaining of pain in her neck, back, and shoulder. She reported a repetitive motion injury to her back and was out of work for a short period of time. Eventually, she returned to work against her doctor’s advice because she was afraid that she might lose her job. In 2011, she left her job due to increasing pain in her back. Three days later, she stated that she hurt her back while she was performing yard work at home. The worker received short and long-term disability payments followed by Social Security disability payments.

In 2015, the worker filed a claim for benefits based on a repetitive back strain injury. The judge assigned to the matter eventually adopted the opinion of one expert finding that the woman suffered a degenerative disc disease and that they were causally related to work for her employer and that she was permanently and totally disabled as a result. The judge rejected any insinuation that the injury stemmed from a non-work-related injury due to her many years on the job and awarded temporary incapacity benefits as well as permanent and total incapacity benefits.

Continue Reading ›

Construction workers experience some of the most severe injuries and work-related physical ailments due to the serious demands of their jobs. It’s not uncommon for a construction worker to experience several injuries during his or her career, which can make workers’ compensation claims more complicated. If you experience a work-related injury that affects a pre-existing injury, the claim process will involve determining whether the new injury that occurred at work was a substantial cause in your pain and injury or whether it is primarily the result of your pre-existing injury. Although it may be tempting to navigate this process on your own, a seasoned Boston work injury lawyer can help you ensure that you are being treated fairly.

Recently, an appellate court considered a workers’ compensation claim involving a construction worker who experienced a number of work-related injuries throughout his extensive career, including a back injury that caused him to miss a year of work. In 2014, the employee filed a claim for weekly incapacity benefits as well as medical expenses reimbursements related to an injury he suffered while moving 50-pound sandbags that resulted in low back pain and pain in his right shoulder. He was unable to work the next morning because the pain was so intense, making it difficult for him to walk and to move his shoulder. The judge awarded benefits and required the insurer to pay for medical expenses, including a potential surgery.

Both parties appealed the order, and the worker was examined by an independent medical examiner. The parties resolved their dispute and the man underwent a series of medical treatments that did not improve his condition. He filed another claim for benefits, which the judge ordered along with additional medical benefits. The insurer appealed and the employee underwent another impartial medical examination. The judge concluded that the employee suffered a work-related injury to his shoulder and that the accident was a major cause in exacerbating his lower back injury and awarded benefits accordingly.

Continue Reading ›

One of the most complicated aspects of any workers’ compensation claim is determining how your pre-existing injuries may be involved. If you have a pre-existing injury and it is exacerbated by a work-related accident, you may still be entitled to benefits and medical expenses reimbursements but proving that your work-related duties caused the exacerbation can be tricky. At Pulgini & Norton, we proudly provide diligent and experienced legal representation to injured workers throughout Boston and are prepared to help you fight for your rights.

A recent case discussed a situation where a worker had a pre-existing lower back condition and suffered an injury to that same area. Insurance companies will often try to use pre-existing injuries to have benefit awards modified or terminated on the basis that the injury was not to blame for the exacerbation. In the case, the worker was a glass installer for a vehicle repair company. He was reportedly injured in a motor vehicle accident while on the job in November 2016. The insurer filed a motion seeking to discontinue the benefits that it paid to the employee as a result of the crash. The judge ruling on the petition modified the award to partial benefits and both parties filed an appeal.

After an independent medical examination, the judge concluded that the worker had a history of non-work-related lower back problems and that he had a spinal fusion procedure when he was eight-years-old. The judge only gave partial credit to the employee’s testimony about his history of back illnesses and did not entirely believe the employee that he was pain-free prior to the accident. Based on these findings, the judge set a date terminating benefits for the employee.

Continue Reading ›

Workers’ compensation claims often involve multiple injuries, which can make an evaluation of your injuries and the benefits that you deserve to receive complex. In some situations, a worker may file several claims for different injuries or for the worsening of an existing injury. At Pulgini & Norton, we have substantial experience representing injured workers as Boston workers’ compensation lawyers. We are not intimidated by complex claims and will ensure that you receive fair treatment no matter how complicated your situation may be.

In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal reviewed a case that involved six claims for benefits with a long and complex history. The worker appealed from a remand decision that awarded her partial incapacity benefits for a left ulnar neuropathy that she suffered at work in 2007 as well as medical expenses reimbursement payments. She also received medical expenses reimbursement payments for cervical and thoracic spinal injuries involved in the same work injury. According to the worker, the judge’s decision included inconsistent findings and that the judge made an incomplete assessment of the evidence offered at the hearing.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the employee, finding that the judge did not rely on the ultimate conclusions and medical opinion from an expert witness at the hearing. The judge did not incorporate the final opinions and ultimate medical conclusions from the expert that were provided during the second day of testimony regarding the worker’s fibromyalgia condition.

Continue Reading ›

If you were hurt at work, you may be entitled to benefits and medical expenses reimbursement through the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. Our Boston-based team of work injury lawyers has handled a wide variety of injuries on behalf of workers throughout the state. As a result, we have encountered countless different issues and legal challenges when helping our clients ensure that they are treated fairly and receive the outcomes that they deserve.

One issue that often comes up in workers’ compensation claims is surveillance footage. Insurance companies don’t always have the worker’s best interests in mind, so they will frequently enlist the help of surveillance companies and private investigators to obtain footage that shows the claimant behaving in a way that suggests he or she is not injured. In a recent appellate claim, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s award of benefits that was based in part on surveillance footage that showed the injured worker fishing.

An impartial medical examiner initially stated that the employee could work on a limited part-time basis for only four hours a day. The video surveillance showed the employee actively engaged in fishing, however, which led the examiner to change his testimony to state that the employee would be capable of sitting and standing for five to six hours and that he could work 30 hours per week. The judge credited this testimony and made an award of benefits based on the examiner’s findings.

Continue Reading ›

When you suffer an injury at work, the workers’ compensation insurance company may try to argue that it is not required to pay benefits based on a number of theories and defenses. For example, the insurer may allege that your injury did not stem from a work-related event. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we have assisted countless injured workers in fighting for their rights when they are suffering from serious and painful work-related injuries.

In a recent claim dispute, the worker was reportedly injured when he fell backward out of his fuel delivery truck, causing injuries to his elbows, shoulder, and head. He did not return to work after the injury and received temporary incapacity benefits. The insurer eventually filed a claim to modify or discontinue the weekly benefit payments and provided a copy of an independent medical examiners report in support of the petition. Eventually, the judge concluded that the employee was temporarily totally disabled as a result of the accident and ordered additional benefit payments. In reaching this decision, the judge relied on the independent medical examiner’s report.

The insurer raised a number of issues on appeal. First, it claimed that the judge should not have relied on the report because the doctor’s findings were based on nothing more than a temporal relationship theory. The appellate court rejected this, finding that there was substantial evidence that the worker was suffering from post-concussion syndrome, post-traumatic head injury pain, causalgia, and other conditions stemming from the accident. The employee testified to suffering memory issues, difficulty focusing, and vertigo, which were all in line with the doctor’s diagnosis and findings.

Continue Reading ›

Contact Information