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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.

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Even when you have been awarded workers’ compensation benefits, the employer can seek a discontinuance of those benefits down the road based on a variety of factors such as a claim that your disability has improved. In many cases, the worker receiving benefits still requires those payments. Having a dedicated Boston work injury lawyer on your side to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the claims process, including any disputes regarding discontinuation of benefits, is critical.

In a recent opinion, the Massachusetts appellate court affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss an employer’s complaint to discontinue a worker’s permanent and total incapacity benefits. The worker received benefits initially in 1998 due to health conditions that she developed when the school where she worked was being renovated. The construction caused her to be exposed to thick smoke, noxious fumes, exhaust, paint, and other chemicals. The judge presiding over that clam concluded that there was a causal connection between the exposure and her symptoms of nausea, dizziness, pain in her extremities, cough, and asthma.

The worker received benefits from 1998 until 2017 when the employer sought discontinuation of the benefits. The worker submitted reports from medical experts indicating that she was still disabled and the judge accepted the testimony in those reports linking her continued disability to the toxic exposure at her job. The employer appealed the dismissal of its complaint for discontinuation on the basis that the reports were not submitted at the appropriate time, that the doctor did not examine the employee in close enough proximity to when the report was authored, and that the doctor’s reports must be excluded because they included a controversial medical diagnosis that is not accepted in the medical community, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).

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Work-related accidents take many different shapes and forms, including environmental exposure cases. When your on-the-job injury is complex, it is important to have a seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyer on your side to ensure that you receive the outcome that you deserve. In a recent case, the employee worked for a City municipality where he was in charge of recapping landfills. Later, he was in charge of overseeing the City’s composting operations, which took place on a fifteen-acre, open-air space. The immediate neighbors made complaints about the poor condition and odors coming from the composting location.

The employee took note of these issues and made changes to the operation that made it more efficient. This included checking the temperature of the compost piles with a long stick, picking up the material with his hands, and walking around the compost facility to check for odors. In January 2008, he began experiencing cramping and fatigue. When he started coughing up blood, he went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. He suffered another episode six days after he was discharged. Several years later in 2013, he was diagnosed with another pulmonary embolism.

The employee then saw several medical professionals, including doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. He testified that most of the evaluations were self-referred because he suspected that his condition was caused by aspergillum mold. The employer allowed him to manage the facility offsite out of concern for possible mold exposure. The insurer refused to pay for the medical treatment that the employee underwent and an administrative law judge affirmed the denial.

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If you are hurt at work, you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which provides injured employees with compensation for their lost wages and reasonable medical expenses. The claim process can be complex, especially if the insurer denies the claim or challenges certain decisions like the calculation of the weekly benefits that you are owed. As experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, we are standing by to help you understand the claim process and to ensure that you are treated fairly by insurance companies and the Department of Industrial Relations.

In a recent claim, a worker suffered an injury to his back while working in a warehouse. He missed a few days of work after reporting to the emergency room and eventually resumed light duty work and continued to work for eleven months following the injury. During this time, he underwent continued medical treatment consisting of MRIs, physical therapy, and steroid injections. His manager eventually informed him that he was being put on disability effective the next Monday.

The man filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The judge ordered the employer to pay him temporary total incapacity benefits from the day the employer noted he was on disability and the insurer appealed. The employee underwent an independent medical examination and the reporting doctor indicated that the man had several work-related limitations, including only lifting no more than 10 pounds on an occasional basis. The judge concluded that this rendered him incapable of performing jobs that matched his skillsets, including his former job.

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There are countless rules that apply to workers’ compensation proceedings, especially when it comes to what the judge can consider when ruling on an issue in the claim. Having a seasoned Boston work injury lawyer on your side to help you ensure that everyone involved is following these rules can take the stress and anxiety out of an already difficult situation.

In a recent claim, the employee worked as a facility manager and technician and later moved to a similar company to perform comparable tasks. The employee filed a claim for benefits and the insurer for the second employer accepted liability. The man sought benefits for the aggravation of a back injury that he sustained while working for his second employer. The judge denied the claim, finding that the worker was not a credible witness or accurate historian of the events surrounding his alleged injuries. In the order denying the claims, the judge stated that there was no convincing testimony that an industrial accident happened at either employer and that the worker’s medical history lacked supporting evidence.

The worker appealed, stating that the judge made a reversible error in expanding the dispute before him by concluding that there was no convincing evidence indicating that he suffered an accident with either employer when it was undisputed that the worker had an accident while engaged with his second employer. The appellate court agreed with the worker and noted that the second employer’s insurance company did not contest liability for the injury. As a result, it was improper for the court to expand the parameters of the dispute to an evaluation of whether the worker suffered a job-related injury. If an insurer does not contest liability, then the alleged injury is deemed to have occurred.

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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.

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Workers’ compensation claims can be complex and lengthy endeavors, especially if this is your first time navigating the claims process. One of the best ways to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve is to speak with a seasoned Boston workers compensation lawyer. At Pulgini & Norton, our team has substantial experience handling a variety of work injury claims, including claims involving psychiatric injuries, and we are ready to help you fight for the outcome that you deserve.

In a recent appellate opinion, the injured worker suffered five different work injuries between 1987 and 2008. The first four affected his back while the last one affected his right leg and ankle. The man sought workers’ compensation benefits for his back injuries and the employer’s insurer at the time paid benefits. The insurer did not accept full liability for the injuries.

The employer was self-insured for the remaining four injuries and accepted liability for all of them. The employee underwent substantial medical treatment for his injuries, including his leg injury. He attempted to return to work but was eventually only able to perform sedentary tasks like office work, but this position still required him to walk extensively. He reported experiencing excruciating pain while also experiencing severe depression. He was hospitalized for a suspected suicide attempt at one point during the course of these events.

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Medical opinions often form the basis for an award or denial of workers’ compensation benefits. As a result, it is critical to ensure that the medical examinations you receive are thorough and accurate and that the presiding judge abides by the applicable rules in determining the scope of those reports. At Pulgini & Norton, we have provided countless Boston residents with seasoned legal counsel when pursuing Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. We are standing by and ready to help you fight for your rights.

In a recent claim, the employee sought benefits for injuries he alleged that he sustained over time in his job as a union electrician. There were two insurers involved, an original insurer and a successive insurer. The judge ordered the successive insurer to pay temporary incapacity benefits to the worker in addition to reimbursement for medical expenses, which the successive insurer appealed. The judge denied the claim against the original insurer, which the employee appealed.

The worker underwent medical examinations and the insurers asserted a number of defenses including a lack of causal relationship between the injuries and the employee’s job, a lack of proper notice of the disability, and a lack of injury. The judge allowed the parties to submit additional medical evidence and the employee was the only one to testify at the hearing. The judge upheld the original order denying the claim against the original insurer and upholding the award of benefits against the successive insurer.

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When you suffer an injury on the job, sometimes the damage is so severe that you are unable to resume your normal occupational duties. Part of the claims process involves examining your work capacity and determining the types of work that you would be capable of performing. This can be a critical step in the claim, especially if your injuries are so severe that returning to any type of work is out of the question. Our dedicated team of Boston work injury lawyers has assisted countless injured workers with ensuring that they are treated fairly during the benefit claims process.

Recently, a Massachusetts appellate court considered an appeal in which the insurer challenged an award of benefits to an employee who was attacked by a patient while working as a mental health worker. The woman underwent an independent medical examination as part of the claim review and the judge concluded that the attack was totally and permanently disabling to the point of preventing the employee from performing even sedentary jobs. According to the employer, the court rejected its vocational expert’s opinion that the employee could work as a telemarketer based on the judge’s alleged personal bias against the telemarketing industry.

According to the trial record, the judge stated that telemarketing jobs required employees to be aggressive and even obnoxious at times and that it was a difficult job. He stated that it was his policy to not consider telemarketing jobs when performing an occupational capacity assessment unless the person was a telemarketer to begin with. The employer did not object to the judge’s statements at the time they were made and raised the issue for the first time on appeal.

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Work-related injuries can happen in almost any type of scenario, including sudden injuries like broken bones or muscle sprains in addition to injuries that arise from repetitive, wear and tear type activity. Understanding the nature of your injury and being able to demonstrate its link to your employment duties is a key step in any Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim. Our seasoned work injury lawyers are standing by and ready to help you evaluate your claim and whether you may be entitled to benefits.

A Massachusetts appellate court recently considered an appeal in which the employer challenged an award of weekly benefits and medical compensation to an employee who operated two machines that affixed labels to soda bottles. The fast-paced nature of the line on which she worked and the details that she was required to oversee resulted in her standing for 10 to 12 hours at a time during each shift. She also frequently carried boxes in excess of twenty pounds. On the date of the injury, she alleged that she slipped off a bar that she was standing on in order to reach into the machine to change out parts. She underwent medical treatment and returned to work eventually, but continued to experience pain in her left shin and leg. She indicated that she felt she was slowing down at the job and needed to take days off occasionally due to the pain.

She eventually filed a claim for benefits, which were awarded. Both parties appealed. The insurer argued that the judge erred in finding that the employee suffered a wear and tear injury resulting from walking and standing. The appellate court reviewed the distinctions between wear and tear and compensable injuries, noting that the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system does not provide compensation for wear and tear injuries or activities.

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