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.