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In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must prove that your injury was the result of your job duties or some situation at work. This may sound simple, but the insurance company will do everything in its power to show that your injury was the result of some other cause in order to avoid paying benefits. As seasoned Boston work injury lawyers, we will fight diligently to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the entire claim process.

A Massachusetts appellate court recently considered a claim in which the parties disputed the causal link between the woman’s injuries and her job duties. The woman worked as a flight attendant when she suffered an industrial injury to her left elbow in 2009. She underwent surgery and returned to work with no restrictions 18 months later. In 2014, she left work upon experiencing increasing pain in her right arm and neck. She filed a claim for medical benefits that listed an alleged cervical injury. The insurer denied the claim on the basis that there was not enough evidence to show a link between the injury and her job duties. It also raised an issue regarding her pre-existing injury. Ultimately, the judge awarded the woman compensation for her cervical injury medical treatment and the insurer appealed.

The woman underwent an independent medical examination and the doctor concluded that there was a causal relationship between her injury and the repetitive nature of her work duties. The insurer withdrew its appeal. Sometime later, the insurer filed a complaint for discontinuance, stating that the disability was no longer associated with her work and again raised pre-existing injury as an issue. The judge denied the request and the insurer appealed. A different physician examined the employee who concluded that the worker’s cervical injuries were not associated with her job duties. The judge awarded the woman disability benefits as well as medical benefits for her cervical condition. The insurer appealed again alleging that the judge relied on the wrong report in reaching a conclusion and that the medical opinions upon which the judge relied failed to address the pre-existing injury issue.

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Workers’ compensation claims can be complex and lengthy endeavors, especially if this is your first time navigating the claims process. One of the best ways to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve is to speak with a seasoned Boston workers compensation lawyer. At Pulgini & Norton, our team has substantial experience handling a variety of work injury claims, including claims involving psychiatric injuries, and we are ready to help you fight for the outcome that you deserve.

In a recent appellate opinion, the injured worker suffered five different work injuries between 1987 and 2008. The first four affected his back while the last one affected his right leg and ankle. The man sought workers’ compensation benefits for his back injuries and the employer’s insurer at the time paid benefits. The insurer did not accept full liability for the injuries.

The employer was self-insured for the remaining four injuries and accepted liability for all of them. The employee underwent substantial medical treatment for his injuries, including his leg injury. He attempted to return to work but was eventually only able to perform sedentary tasks like office work, but this position still required him to walk extensively. He reported experiencing excruciating pain while also experiencing severe depression. He was hospitalized for a suspected suicide attempt at one point during the course of these events.

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Medical opinions often form the basis for an award or denial of workers’ compensation benefits. As a result, it is critical to ensure that the medical examinations you receive are thorough and accurate and that the presiding judge abides by the applicable rules in determining the scope of those reports. At Pulgini & Norton, we have provided countless Boston residents with seasoned legal counsel when pursuing Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. We are standing by and ready to help you fight for your rights.

In a recent claim, the employee sought benefits for injuries he alleged that he sustained over time in his job as a union electrician. There were two insurers involved, an original insurer and a successive insurer. The judge ordered the successive insurer to pay temporary incapacity benefits to the worker in addition to reimbursement for medical expenses, which the successive insurer appealed. The judge denied the claim against the original insurer, which the employee appealed.

The worker underwent medical examinations and the insurers asserted a number of defenses including a lack of causal relationship between the injuries and the employee’s job, a lack of proper notice of the disability, and a lack of injury. The judge allowed the parties to submit additional medical evidence and the employee was the only one to testify at the hearing. The judge upheld the original order denying the claim against the original insurer and upholding the award of benefits against the successive insurer.

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When you suffer an injury on the job, sometimes the damage is so severe that you are unable to resume your normal occupational duties. Part of the claims process involves examining your work capacity and determining the types of work that you would be capable of performing. This can be a critical step in the claim, especially if your injuries are so severe that returning to any type of work is out of the question. Our dedicated team of Boston work injury lawyers has assisted countless injured workers with ensuring that they are treated fairly during the benefit claims process.

Recently, a Massachusetts appellate court considered an appeal in which the insurer challenged an award of benefits to an employee who was attacked by a patient while working as a mental health worker. The woman underwent an independent medical examination as part of the claim review and the judge concluded that the attack was totally and permanently disabling to the point of preventing the employee from performing even sedentary jobs. According to the employer, the court rejected its vocational expert’s opinion that the employee could work as a telemarketer based on the judge’s alleged personal bias against the telemarketing industry.

According to the trial record, the judge stated that telemarketing jobs required employees to be aggressive and even obnoxious at times and that it was a difficult job. He stated that it was his policy to not consider telemarketing jobs when performing an occupational capacity assessment unless the person was a telemarketer to begin with. The employer did not object to the judge’s statements at the time they were made and raised the issue for the first time on appeal.

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Work-related injuries can happen in almost any type of scenario, including sudden injuries like broken bones or muscle sprains in addition to injuries that arise from repetitive, wear and tear type activity. Understanding the nature of your injury and being able to demonstrate its link to your employment duties is a key step in any Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim. Our seasoned work injury lawyers are standing by and ready to help you evaluate your claim and whether you may be entitled to benefits.

A Massachusetts appellate court recently considered an appeal in which the employer challenged an award of weekly benefits and medical compensation to an employee who operated two machines that affixed labels to soda bottles. The fast-paced nature of the line on which she worked and the details that she was required to oversee resulted in her standing for 10 to 12 hours at a time during each shift. She also frequently carried boxes in excess of twenty pounds. On the date of the injury, she alleged that she slipped off a bar that she was standing on in order to reach into the machine to change out parts. She underwent medical treatment and returned to work eventually, but continued to experience pain in her left shin and leg. She indicated that she felt she was slowing down at the job and needed to take days off occasionally due to the pain.

She eventually filed a claim for benefits, which were awarded. Both parties appealed. The insurer argued that the judge erred in finding that the employee suffered a wear and tear injury resulting from walking and standing. The appellate court reviewed the distinctions between wear and tear and compensable injuries, noting that the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system does not provide compensation for wear and tear injuries or activities.

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One of the most challenging aspects of a workers’ compensation claim is determining when the injured worker requires continued medical treatment. If you are suffering from a painful and debilitating work-related condition, it is important that you receive the treatment and care that you deserve to make you as whole as possible. The dedicated team of Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton are prepared to help you ensure that you receive the just outcome that you deserve.

In a recent claim, the worker suffered an injury to his left shoulder and a second work-related injury that affected his back. His employer’s insurer paid benefits until the date that he experienced the second injury when it paid him a new set of benefits. The insurer terminated the second set of benefits a few months later raising many issues, including pre-existing injury and lack of occupational cause.

The worker filed a claim for benefits for both injuries and the judge awarded benefits for the shoulder injury only. An independent medical examination was performed for the shoulder injury only, and a second independent medical examination was conducted for the back injury. The report for the back injury was later stricken, however, when it was discovered that the doctor had performed an examination of the employee in the past.

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Work injuries can be absolutely debilitating, resulting in a major disruption in your life, as well as the possibility of a permanent disability. One of the most important aspects of a claim is ensuring that the medical records are consistent with the injury that you’ve sustained and that the court follows appropriate rules when making evidentiary findings regarding the relation between your injury and your job duties. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers are prepared to help you understand your legal rights and to claim the compensation that you deserve.

A recent case discusses some of the evidentiary standards that judges must use when considering medical reports prepared by independent medical examiners. At the time of the injury, the worker was employed as a picker for five years with the same employer. He suffered an injury to his right shoulder and thumb that caused him to miss a few days of work. When he returned, he was assigned to light duty. Sometime later, he experienced a sharp pain in the injured shoulder and sought medical treatment. He did not return to work. Physical therapy did not relieve his symptoms so he underwent a fusion surgery that resulted in additional pain, lack of motion, and the inability to pick up things with that hand. Additional rounds of physical therapy proved unhelpful.

Regarding his physical limitations, the worker indicated that he was unable to care for his minor children, to take care of household chores and that he felt capable of performing full-time light duty work. He was examined by an independent medical examiner who concluded that the worker was reporting greater levels of pain than what would be expected and that there was no evidence to explain the second shoulder injury. Ultimately, the judge adopted these findings and the report’s finding that the shoulder injury was “not a workers’ compensation issue.” It also adopted a finding that the worker’s complaints outweighed the medical tests and assessments regarding the mobility and functionality of his left shoulder.

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If you are injured on the job, it is critical that you report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you fail to report the work-related injury, you may experience issues and delays when it comes to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. At Pulgini & Norton, we have assisted numerous Boston residents with ensuring that they follow the correct procedures when asserting a claim for Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits and we are ready to assist you.

A Massachusetts appellate court recently considered a claim involving an issue regarding whether the injured worker reported the injury appropriately. The worker was employed with a construction company as a journeyman ironworker since 2005. During the 1990s, he experienced back pain and he reported this to his employer at the time of hire. He did not seek any medical treatment for his back pain until 2009 when his primary care physician prescribed him painkillers. He continued to receive back pain treatment from this doctor until 2012. He was diagnosed during this time with spondylolisthesis and a minor disc herniation.

In December 2012, the man was lifting a heavy beam when he felt a sharp pain that radiated down his left leg and into his foot. He went home and the next day he continued to experience excruciating pain that caused him to fall at one point. He did not report the injury until this day when he called to say that he had suffered an injury while lifting the beam. He did not fill out an accident injury report and testified that he was afraid of losing his job if he reported the injury. He returned to work and continued to perform tasks for his employer for the next six months on light duty.

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Although injured workers are entitled to benefits for injuries that happen on the job, there are some procedural rules and defenses that employers and insurance companies can use to avoid paying benefits. One of these rules is called the serious and willful conduct rule. As experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we have handled numerous cases that involve this issue.

The Massachusetts appellate court recently considered a claim involving the serious and willful conduct rule. The employee was 48 at the time the injury occurred and was an immigrant from Albania. He did not speak or write English and provided testimony in the proceedings through an interpreter. He worked as a truck driver starting in 2006 and was involved in a rollover accident while on the job in 2012. He underwent a spinal surgery following this accident and settled the associated workers’ compensation claim in 2014. The settlement agreement excluded the disc herniation procedure and only encompassed liability for soft tissue injuries in his lumbar region.

The man started working for another employee in 2015 and was shortly involved in another accident while driving a truck on the job that resulted in injury to his lower back. He was driving with a suspended license at the time of this accident. The administrative law judge assigned to the claim initially denied his request for benefits. The employee appealed seeking payment of benefits along with reimbursement for medical expenses. The Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund defended against the appeal asserting many different arguments, including an argument that the employee acted serious and willfully and was therefore barred from seeking benefits.

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If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are many different steps that you must take in order to receive benefit payments. One of these steps includes an assessment of your injuries and a determination of the extent of your injury, i.e., whether it is total or partial and whether it is temporary or permanent. The evidence presented in support of this finding is critical and insurance companies often fight awards of benefits on the basis that there was not sufficient evidence to support the judge’s ruling. As determined Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we will ensure that you are treated fairly during the claims process and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.

A recent Massachusetts appellate opinion demonstrates a dispute about whether there was sufficient evidence to support an award of benefits. The employee was 53 years old at the time of the dispute and had an eighth-grade education. She worked for 19 years as a machine operator in a job that was repetitive, strenuous, and required constant use of both of her hands and arms. The machines she operated manufactured plastic buckets and lids. During 2015, she began experiencing numbness in her hands. She underwent surgeries in October and November of 2015. Although she tried to resume work in January 2016, she was sent home when she reported throbbing pain in her hands and numbness.

In the workers’ compensation claim, the judge concluded that she was experiencing bilateral carpal tunnel and awarded total incapacity benefits as well as compensation for medical expenses.

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