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Massachusetts Reviewing Board Upholds Decision Declaring Truck Accident Victim Capable of Working 30 Hours Per Week

A work injury can happen in virtually any context, including a car accident. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we have substantial experience assisting individuals with navigating the claims process and ensuring that they receive the maximum amount of compensation that they are entitled to get. A recent opinion from the Department of Industrial Accidents discusses a claim for benefits in a situation in which an employee was injured in a car accident on the job. The man was transporting a piece of equipment on a trailer to a job site when the vehicle he was driving was hit by a truck. The man required extensive medical treatment, including cortisone shots and physical therapy.

The man underwent an impartial medical examination, and the doctor determined that the man could perform part-time work with some limitations. Video evidence was offered during the man’s deposition that showed him fishing. After the deposition, the doctor testified that the man was capable of standing or sitting for multiple hours at a time and thereby cleared to work for 30 hours per week.

The employer’s insurer awarded the man workers’ compensation benefits on an ongoing basis, and both parties appealed. The employee also requested to provide additional medical records on the basis that the existing medical record was inadequate, but the judge denied the motion. The man argued that the court erred in denying his request to provide additional medical evidence and that the court gave improper weight to the change in the medical examiner’s report. The man challenged the video footage in particular, stating that the video did not have any bearing on whether he was able to sit or stand for a substantial period of time.

In rejecting this argument, the reviewing panel noted that the doctor’s change in opinion was not based on the video of the man fishing, but on the amount of time that the man exhibited an ability to sit or stand in the video. The examiner’s opinion, therefore, was based on the length of the video instead of the video itself. The reviewing panel noted that the video depicted the man twisting, maneuvering, and bending, which provided additional support for the doctor’s change in opinion regarding the man’s ability to work. Since the judge’s opinion and decision finding that the man was capable of performing 30 hours of work per week was supported by evidence in the record, the panel upheld the judge’s decision.

If you were hurt while at work, you probably have questions regarding the claims process and whether you are eligible for benefits and medical expenses reimbursement. Our reliable and compassionate team of Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers is prepared to help you assert your rights and to ensure that you are treated fairly. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at 781-843-2200 or contact us online.

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