Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

There are quite a few employees who work across state lines especially in the transportation industry. This can create issues when it comes to knowing which state’s workers’ compensation benefits system will provide you with support in the unfortunate event that you suffer an injury on the job. At Pulgini & Norton, we are standing by and ready to assist you with determining whether you are entitled to benefits and the best method for asserting any rights that are available to you.

In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal discussed some of the issues that can arise when an employee travels across state lines for work. If you are one of these employees, then it is important for you to be aware of how workers’ compensation rules may apply to you should you suffer an injury on the job.

The worker was a tractor-trailer driver who entered into a contract with his employer in Pennsylvania. The hiring process that the driver had to complete was complex and thorough and a job offer was not extended until the applicant completed an orientation program that required the applicant to travel to Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania. At the end of his training program, the worker was extended an offer in Pennsylvania, which he accepted.

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Severe injuries can be devastating for a worker and cause serious disruption in his or her life. Workers’ compensation claims can take a long time, especially if the injury requires ongoing medical treatment. When other injuries happen while another claim is pending, it can be difficult to determine whether the new injury is also associated with the original injury. Our seasoned team of Boston work injury lawyers are ready to assist you with asserting your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

In a recent claim, the worker suffered a major rotator cuff tear in his left shoulder while working as a crane operator. He worked as an ironworker for his entire adult life. He often was required to demonstrate tasks to other workers. His employer’s insurer accepted liability for the accident and the worker underwent surgery and other medical treatments. He returned to light duty work including clerical tasks.

Roughly two years later, the employee slipped while getting out of his work truck on his way home from work suffering an injury to his right shoulder. The employee testified that when he started to fall, he tucked his left shoulder into his body in a protective posture, causing him to strike his right shoulder on the vehicle’s running board. He went to the emergency room and received medical treatment. He returned to work the next day and worked until he underwent a second left shoulder surgery. The employee filed claims seeking benefits for his left shoulder injury and right shoulder injury. The claim involving the left shoulder was filed against a second insurer

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If you are injured at work, it is important to make sure that you receive wage benefits compensation for your medical bills that are related to your injury. The Massachusetts workers’ can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are also struggling to overcome painful injuries and major disruption in your life. At Pulgini & Norton, our experienced team of Boston work injury lawyers is standing by and ready to help you navigate your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

In a recent claim, the employee claimed that he suffered two injuries. The first was to his left shoulder and the second was to his back. The employer’s insurer accepted liability and paid benefits for the employee’s missed wages. Several months later, the insurer canceled the benefits on a number of grounds including an allegation that the injuries stemmed from a pre-existing injury, that the employee could not prove a causal relationship between his job duties and the injuries, and disability.

The employee then filed a claim seeking maximum benefits for his injuries. The judge awarded benefits for the shoulder injury but not the back injury. Both parties filed appeals. Eventually, the worker sought compensation for the reasonable cost of a shoulder surgery, but the judge stated that the employee sought medical benefits in a general sense. The judge also concluded based on medical opinions admitted in evidence that the employee had reached maximum medical improvement and that the surgery was not necessary. The judge awarded benefits for the worker’s lost wages and the parties appealed again.

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There are some instances of work-related injuries where the employee is able to recover to full capacity. In other instances, the employee faces a lifetime of pain and physical limitations. Ensuring that you receive the compensation and medical expenses reimbursement that you deserve is a key aspect of navigating the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. As seasoned Boston work injury lawyers, we are committed to helping injured workers and their families to secure the outcome that they deserve.

A recent claim explores a situation where an injured worker suffered permanent injuries. The worker was a delivery driver who claimed that she suffered an injury to her leg when she was stepping out of her large delivery truck and into a pothole. She received temporary incapacity benefits and filed a claim for additional benefits. The employer, a self-insurer, accepted liability for the accident but challenged the extent of the disability and the employee’s earning capacity.

The worker underwent an independent medical examination and the parties submitted additional medical evidence. The judge ultimately adopted the opinion of the medical examiner stating that the worker suffered from a series of serious complications including complex regional pain syndrome. The doctor who authored the report also reported that there was no doubt that the work accident caused the injury. The judge also adopted the employee’s testimony that she experienced chronic pain that caused her to wake up multiple times during the night and that although she took serious medications like Valium and Tramadol it did not provide her with meaningful pain relief.

In a trial or any other court proceeding, we expect to receive fair treatment. This includes having our case heard before an impartial judge. When you are injured at work, you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This is a complex process with many different steps and countless rules that apply. If this is your first work injury, it can be difficult to know if you are receiving fair treatment and whether you should object to something that is taking place. Our dedicated team of Boston work injury lawyers is standing by to help you protect your right to compensation following an on-the-job accident.

In a recent claim, the insurer made several objections to the outcome of a claim proceeding on the basis that the judge was not impartial. The employee who filed the claim suffered knee and back injuries in 2014 and received benefits for a period of time. Eventually, an independent medical examiner concluded that the woman reached a point of medical improvement and that her disability lasted only six months. The judge adopted portions of three different reports to conclude that she was permanently disabled, however.

The insurer appealed on the basis that cobbling together phrases from three opinions revealed the judge’s impartiality. The insurer won this appeal and the reviewing judge remanded the matter for further considerations. On remand, the judge stood by his original decision and stated that he did not act impartially. The insurer appealed again, asking that the appellate court reassign the matter to a new judge.

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Workers’ compensation cases involve many different steps and determinations, including an analysis of whether you have reached maximum medical improvement and whether you are able to pursue meaningful work in another position either in the same field or another field. As dedicated Boston work accident lawyers, we have handled many claims on behalf of injured workers and helped them to secure the outcomes that they deserve.

In a recent case, the injured worker was a nurse who provided direct patient care. She suffered an injury to her lower back in 2016 when she was adjusting a patient, resulting in immediate lower back pain that radiated to her right leg. She went to the emergency room at the end of her shift. Ultimately, she did not reach a point of recovery that allowed her to return to her regular job duties, but she did return to work in a clerical capacity with reduced hours. This still caused her to experience pain, however, and required her to take more time from work.

The woman filed a claim seeking temporary total incapacity benefits, which was eventually granted. The employer paid the employee roughly $937.69 in benefits per week based on an average weekly wage of $1,622.82. The judge also required the employer to pay benefits based on the employee’s actual wages for a specific period of time. The insurer appealed and the worker underwent an impartial medical examination, culminating in the only medical report submitted in evidence. According to the report, the worker reached her maximum medical improvement and continued to experience lower back pain limiting her physical abilities.

At the appeal hearing, the employee provided testimony about her pain and limitations as well as her efforts to find work. The judge found this testimony credible and adopted the findings of the medical report. The insurer appealed again, arguing that the judge earned in assessing the worker’s earning capacity and disability findings. The appellate court rejected these arguments, first finding that there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the judge’s finding that the employee was disabled for all periods listed in her claim for benefits. Based on the conclusions in the medical report, specifically finding that she had reached maximum medical improvement, it was reasonable for the judge to conclude that she was disabled at the specified time and that she was still experiencing serious pain.

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Injuries and medical conditions can be incredibly complicated, especially if they leave you unable to return to work in the same capacity. In a workers’ compensation case, one of the most important steps assessing your vocational options following the accident. If you cannot return to the same level of work, it may mean that you are eligible for vocational training and/or benefits. The dedicated Boston work injury lawyers at Pulgini & Norton have helped numerous individuals throughout the region with understanding their right to compensation in the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system.

In a recent case, the employee was working on a roof when the sheet of plywood that he was holding started to blow away in a gust of wind. He held onto the plywood, but the wind gust was strong, and he felt immediate pain in his shoulder. He went to a hospital and complained of a dislocated shoulder but ultimately returned to work. Three months later, he experienced a pop in his right shoulder when the bathtub that he was moving with another employee slipped. He went to the emergency room but left upon deciding that the wait time was too long. He worked for eight more months and reported to the hospital in 2010 with shoulder pain. He eventually was unable to report to work because of the pain.

After filing a claim for disability benefits, the worker was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain, chronic instability, and recurrent dislocations. The doctor who examined the worker concluded that these injuries were directly related to his occupation and the original plywood accident. He also concluded that the man was now permanently partially disabled. The presiding judge awarded only temporary total incapacitation benefits, however. The man tried to return to work but left when he was unable to lift a hammer due to the pain. He sought other employment but was forced to quit when the pain was still too great. Shortly after starting a vocational plan, he became incarcerated.

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Work-related injuries at work can lead to devastating injuries, but many workers try to push through their pain so that they can continue working. In some instances, the employer may try to reassign an employee to light-duty work in order to allow them time to recover while still earning wages. Some work injuries also involve a variety of symptoms and ongoing conditions that require extended medical treatment and analysis. This can make it more challenging for an employer to accept liability for your injury and pay you the benefits that you deserve. As dedicated Boston work injury lawyers, we will ensure that you receive the fair outcome that you deserve in your workers’ compensation claim.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered a claim where the injured worker suffered a work-related injury and spent the next few years undergoing different treatments and analyses to diagnose and address his injuries. Throughout this period, the employee reportedly made many attempts to return to work and even worked on light-duty status for a time. The employee suffered a slip and fall injury while working as a patrolman. he broke his fall with his right arm resulting in serious injuries to that extremity. He returned to work but continued to experience pain. He filed a claim for temporary incapacity benefits as well as medical expenses reimbursement, which he received.

Based on the employee’s good faith attempts to return to work, his lack of improvement in response to conservative medical treatment, his need for surgery, his increased pain, and the restrictions he experienced in his daily life, the judge concluded that the employee was totally disabled as a result of the injury and that he could not find work in the open labor market. The insurer appealed.

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Work-related injuries aren’t just physical in nature. They can also involve psychiatric injuries like PTSD. At Pulgini & Norton, we have provided diligent and compassionate legal assistance to injured workers suffering a variety of work-related harms. We know how intimidating the claims process can be and how frustrating it feels to wonder whether you will be able to return to work in the same capacity. We are standing by and ready to assist you with asserting your right to benefits and medical expenses reimbursements.

In a recent Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim, an injured worker appealed a finding from the court that his physical injuries had resolved and that he did not suffer psychiatric injuries that limited his ability to work. The order also concluded that his claim for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was unreasonable and not related to his injury. The man worked as a court officer from 1997 until 2012, which involved providing security services in the courtroom and escorting prisoners. He was involved in an altercation with a prisoner in 2012 that resulted in him being taken to the hospital. He reported experiencing headaches and vertigo months later.

Initially, the employer accepted liability for the man’s injuries, but the insurer contested the claim for psychiatric injuries. The presiding judge adopted the opinion of one of the testifying doctors that the man did not have any psychiatric injuries or neurological impairment, and also denied the man’s claim for reimbursement for treatments related to his claimed psychiatric injury. The employee appealed.

The workers’ compensation claims process can be a major headache, especially if this is your first time seeking benefits for a work injury. Knowing which documents to file and the right process for ensuring that you receive the benefits that you deserve is not something you should have to stress about when you are also focusing on healing and getting back to work. Our seasoned team of Boston workers’ compensation lawyers is ready to help you assert your rights and to receive the fair outcome that you deserve.

Recently, a Massachusetts court considered a claim in which the injured employee alleged that the insurer failed to reimburse him for prescription medications in violation of an order. Initially, the employee argued that the employer’s insurance company did not make all of the payments due to him under a prior conference order. The insurer filed an appeal regarding the original order and before the hearing on the appeal, the employee filed a claim seeking penalties and a request that the claim for penalties be heard at the appeal. The employee later admitted that the request for penalties did not comply with the statutory requirements because it failed to include an affidavit stating when the payment was due when a payment was made, and the amount of payments still owed.

Before the judge could issue an order on the request for penalties, the insurer paid the outstanding balance for the prescription medications. Because the employee failed to follow the appropriate requirements in seeking penalties, however, the judge denied the request for penalties for failure to pay.

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