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.