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knee injuryIf you were injured at work, you may be entitled to benefits and reimbursement for your medical expenses. At Pulgini & Norton, we have helped countless Boston residents understand the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system while helping them secure the outcome that they deserve.

As a recent claim demonstrates, one of the most critical aspects of a claim is knowing when to assert certain defenses or objections. In the claim, the employee suffered an injury to her right knee while working as a registered nurse. She was unable to work for a period of time and underwent surgery to address the injury. She returned to work less than a year after the injury, but reported chronic pain and symptoms when she increased her activity. She left work again due to the pain and filed a claim for benefits. The insurance company accepted liability for her right knee injury and provided benefit payments.

The insurance company filed a motion to discontinue payment of benefits, which was denied. The insurer appealed and the employee underwent an independent medical examination for her right knee only. The parties then sought another independent medical examination that covered both knees to determine causation and the extent of her disability.  Medical evidence was presented at a hearing and both sides presented a vocational expert. The judge ultimately adopted the testimony and reports of the employer’s vocational expert, modified the employee’s benefits from section 34 to section 35 benefits, and ordered the insurer to pay for medical expenses associated with the right knee only.

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medical assessmentWhen an employee is injured on the job, he or she can submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This provides compensation for missed wages as well as medical treatments that are reasonably related to the work injury. Unsurprisingly, many insurers will debate whether a medical treatment should be reimbursed, arguing that it was not a reasonable outcome of the accident. As dedicated Boston work injury lawyers, we have the skills and experience it takes to ensure that you are treated fairly.

Recently, a Massachusetts appellate court considered a claim in which an insurer argued that it should not be required to pay for certain treatments related to an injured workers’ spinal injury. The woman worked as a transporter and cleaner when she suffered an injury to her neck. She underwent several operations and treatments including multiple spinal fusions.

Eventually, the woman accepted a lump sum settlement for her neck injury. Next, she received a surgical treatment for her lower back. She then filed a claim seeking reimbursement for medical expenses to pay for a Duragesic patch that would treat her persistent neck pain. Before a hearing on the claim, the employer’s insurance carrier was paying for half of the cost of the patch. After the hearing, the judge ordered the insurer to keep paying for half of the cost of the patch but denied the woman’s claim for compensation for additional medical bills. Both parties filed on appeal.

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time limitIf you are injured on the job, it is important that you file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits within the appropriate time period. This is known as the statute of limitations. Determining when your right to benefits accrued and how long you have to assert your claim can be difficult. This is especially true where your injury is the result of ongoing or repetitive conduct, or where it involves a pre-existing injury. Our knowledgeable team of Boston work injury lawyers is prepared to assist you with investigating your claim and ensuring that you protect your rights during this stressful and painful situation.

A Massachusetts appellate court recently discussed the application of the statute of limitations doctrine in a work injury claim. The employee suffered an injury to his shoulder in 2004 that required him to eventually undergo surgery. He received benefits until he returned to work after the injury.

Four years later, the employee filed a claim for temporary total incapacity benefits as well as other benefits based on the 2004 injury. In the claim, he also requested that the insurer pay for a left shoulder surgery that his treating orthopedist recommended. The claim was denied and the employee appealed. He then underwent an impartial medical examination. The judge assigned to the matter retired while the claim was pending and a new judge was assigned who reviewed the matter de novo. The employee also suffered a second injury to his left shoulder in 2012 and filed a claim requesting medical benefits for this injury.

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Just like civil claims for compensation, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system has statutes of limitations that dictate when an injured worker must file a claim in order to receive benefits. It can be difficult to know when your time may run out, which is why speaking with a Boston work injury lawyer about your situation is so critical. At Pulgini & Norton, we provide personalized and compassionate legal counsel to individuals throughout Massachusetts and are standing by to assist you with exploring your legal right to compensation after a work injury.doctor

A Massachusetts Court of Appeal recently considered an appeal regarding a challenge to whether the employee had filed her claim within the statute of limitations. The employee was working as a nurse at the time of the dispute. She suffered an injury to her neck in 2007 that required her to seek treatment at the emergency room. Although the employee continued working, her pain worsened, requiring her to undergo spinal surgeries. She was out of work for several months and later returned. Although she did not file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, she received short-term disability benefit payments for the time that she was out of work. Her testimony also indicated that she did not report her work-related injury to her employer in 2007.

During 2009, the employee sought treatment for her neck injury and continued to work. During 2012, she reported being unable to turn her neck after what she described as a heavy assignment. She underwent treatment and was unable to work for three months. During this time, she once again collected short-term disability benefits.

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Although many people are aware that you can seek workers’ compensation benefits for a physical injury suffered on the job, many are unaware that the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides compensation for psychiatric injuries as well. If you believe that you suffered psychiatric harm as a result of your occupation, contact our seasoned legal team to start exploring your legal rights and options.Legal News Gavel

In a recent appeal, a Massachusetts court considered an insurer’s appeal of an award of benefits to a woman based on an injury she suffered to her foot. The woman fell while walking down a flight of stairs and underwent a number of surgeries on her foot that did not result in any measurable improvement. The employer’s insurer accepted liability and provided benefit payments. The woman reported experiencing many physical limitations and difficulties associated with her foot injury over the course of her four surgeries. She reported experiencing physical limitations that limited her daily activities, such as experiencing significant discomfort in the injured foot during severely cold weather. The woman testified that as a result of these physical limitations, she often felt sad and experienced fits of anger and depression.

The judge assigned to the claim ultimately concluded that the woman was permanently and totally disabled as a result of her physical injury as well as her depression stemming from the work-related injury. The judge awarded her the full amount of disability benefits to which she was legally entitled, and the insurer appealed.

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As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we know how important it is for injured workers to receive the medical treatment and reimbursements that they deserve in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation claims involve disputes with or among insurance companies regarding whether a treatment should be compensable, or which insurer should pay. One of the best things you can do when seeking workers’ compensation benefits is seeking experienced legal counsel to help avoid any delays or complications in your claim.Legal News Gavel

Recently, a Massachusetts court considered a conflict regarding which insurer was required to pay for an injured worker’s medical treatments. The worker was employed as a certified nursing assistant when she fell down a flight of stairs, suffering injuries to her knee and shoulder. The first insurer for the employer paid weekly total incapacity benefits to the employee. She received treatment for the injuries and reported experiencing pain. After 2008, she was unemployed and then secured a job with another nursing company. She was then required to leave work to undergo surgery on her shoulder. During this employment, she also performed some private assistance through a senior care service for an elderly gentleman who required minimal assistance.

After the surgery, the woman reported not experiencing any significant improvements. She filed a claim against the first insurer, seeking benefit payments and partial incapacity benefits. Initially, the judge assigned to the claim denied the request for benefits. The worker appealed and underwent an independent medical examination. Eventually, the judge approved a lump sum settlement between the first insurer and the worker, stating that the case was settled and liability for the shoulder injury was accepted by the insurer.

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Once you receive an award of workers’ compensation benefits, the process is far from over. The insurer that is required to pay your benefits may seek a modification or discontinuation of your payments. These companies do not always have injured workers’ best interests in mind, and they sometimes resort to complicated tactics to have a claim denied. Our knowledgeable team of Boston workers’ compensation lawyers is prepared to help you protect your right to compensation.Legal News Gavel

A recent claim discussed an insurer’s request to discontinue, modify, or recoup benefit payments to an injured worker. The woman suffered an injury to her neck during a motor vehicle accident that the insurer originally accepted. The employee sought reimbursement for proposed medical treatments, but the request was denied. The worker appealed, and the judge ultimately required the insurer to pay for the treatments as well as to continue paying disability benefits. The insurer appealed, and the reviewing judge allowed the submission of gap medical records to provide more context. At the conclusion of this hearing, the judge ordered the insurer to continue paying the same amount of benefits to the employee.

The insurer appealed again, raising four specific assignments of error. First, the insurer alleged that the judge misstated expert medical opinion testimony in reaching a decision and that the judge relied on his own opinion regarding the employee’s apparent uncomfortable demeanor during the hearing instead of the independent medical examination. The insurer also alleged that the judge wrongfully rejected independent medical examination information and failed to make adequate findings regarding the worker’s prior occupations.

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Legal News GavelAs dedicated Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers, we have seen a wide variety of work-related injuries. Many individuals mistakenly believe that only physical injuries are compensable under this system. In reality, there are many psychiatric injuries that are eligible for benefits. A recent Massachusetts’ appellate court opinion discussed one such claim.

There were several hearings related to the man’s claim of psychiatric injury that stemmed from his time working as a maintenance mechanic aide. He worked for a company that maintained apartments, and his employer tasked him with enforcing a non-smoking policy. According to the man, he was subject of substantial harassment from the tenants.

The first hearing concluded in a determination that he was disabled due to anxiety resulting from his job, but that he was not disabled from working for other employers in a similar capacity. His initial claim for benefits was therefore denied. The man appealed and the reviewing board affirmed the decision, but an appellate court reversed, finding that the man had suffered a period of total disability and that he was entitled to full benefits until he found a suitable position for another employer.

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Legal News GavelIf you were injured at work, you may be entitled to benefits through Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation system. Although it may seem like your claim is straightforward, countless issues can arise. This is especially true where insurance companies are involved, since they don’t always have your best interests in mind. As dedicated Boston work injury lawyers, we are prepared to help you ensure that you receive the just outcome and fair treatment that you deserve.

In a recent appellate opinion, a man suffered injuries while working as a roofer. The tasks associated with his job required climbing up and down ladders and staging and working on pitched roofs. He would carry up to 60 pounds of aluminum sheets to a roof and there were substantial periods of kneeling. He sustained his first knee injury in 1981 while working for a union in New Hampshire. He underwent arthroscopic surgery and received benefits for two months while he was unable to work. Several years later, he experienced swelling in his left knee. In 1998, he reported experiencing a pop in his knee and was unable to finish work. He was prescribed surgery and was out of work for a few months before he returned to full-time. He was also diagnosed with arthritis in his left knee.

During the next several years, he received a series of cortisone shots in his knee that provided little relief. He did not seek additional treatment until three years later when he reported increased pain. He was laid off of work one year later and did not seek additional employment because he was scheduled to have a total left knee replacement surgery. The man filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits stemming from the 1998 injury. There was some dispute regarding whether other insurers should be included in the action.

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Legal News GavelOne of the most important aspects of a workers’ compensation claim to address is the evidence that you intend to present to show the nature and scope of your injury, as well as its origin. At Pulgini & Norton, our skilled and dedicated Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers are well-versed in the claims process and ready to help you ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered an injured worker’s appeal from an order that denied and dismissed his claim for medical benefit payments and weekly benefits. The employee alleged that the judge made a reversible mistake by denying his request to provide evidence at the hearing regarding his claim from a hearing before the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

The man was working as a custodian for the employer during 1999. He was involved in an altercation at work with the director of facilities for one of the public schools within the employer’s jurisdiction. The employer fired the worker after an investigation regarding the fight. A few years later, the employee filed a claim seeking benefits for weekly wages and medical expenses on the basis that he sustained severe emotional distress from the altercation.

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