Some occupations put workers at serious risk of injury, including working with patients suffering from mental diseases who may act out in physical ways. People who face this kind of stress on a daily basis may also suffer from psychiatric harm as a result of being exposed to dangerous and high-stress conditions on a regular basis. Ensuring that the court receives medical evidence regarding your psychological disability is a key step in protecting your rights. At Pulgini & Norton, our team of Boston workers’ compensation advocates has handled cases involving psychiatric injury claims in high-stress work environments and we are ready to put our experience to use for you.
A Massachusetts appellate court recently considered a claim in which the worker was awarded partial incapacity benefits after suffering injuries when a patient at the facility where she worked struck her on the head and face. The lower court denied the woman’s claim for benefits to address her psychological injuries. The woman appealed the denial of the request for psychological injury benefits on the basis that she provided medical evidence to the judge in a timely fashion by forwarding the documents electronically and that she used an encrypted record transmission service. The company’s records show that the documents were sent to the judge and his assistant.
The judge’s decision and other court records, however, did not list the documents as exhibits or show them as received. The record was absent of any evidence regarding whether the judge reviewed the documents. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurer argued that the appellate court should affirm the denial despite the confusion on the basis that the evidence was cumulative of other evidence that the employee had already presented regarding her alleged psychological condition. Although the insurer admitted that the evidence did not contain records from the worker’s psychiatrist and therapist, the insurer argued that reports from these doctors did not contain admissible medical opinion.