Articles Posted in Massachusetts Work Accident

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When we think of workplace injuries in terms of Boston workers’ compensation cases, we are generally dealing with some type of accident. In many cases, it is simply an accident that was not anyone’s fault.  In some cases, the accident is actually the result of an employer’s negligence.  There is really is no distinction with respect to workers’ compensation cases because Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L) established a no-fault system.  There is however, a third category of workplace injuries where one worker is physically assaulted by an other employee, customer, or third-party criminal.

Boston workplace Injuries These situations happen more frequently than you might assume.  There are a lot of assaults between employees in jobs in Boston and across the nation. While there are the high profile cases involving active shooter situations that occur from time to time, we are generally talking about one worker punching another.  Contrary to what many people think and see in the movies, a single punch can result in serious injury or even death. Continue reading

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Opioid addiction has become a major epidemic in Boston and across the U.S.  It is also become a hot topic for politicians and media outlets. While Massachusetts has long suffered from a major problem with heroin addiction,  many times it begins with workers injured on the job who start taking painkillers such as opioids like Vicodin and Oxycontin.  Once these injured workers become hooked on painkillers, the habit is often very difficult kick, even once the drugs are no longer medically necessary to fight the pain from the initial injury.

Boston workers' compensation lawyerIn an effort to address this issue, as discussed in a recent news article from the Union Leader, New Hampshire is looking to follow Massachusetts’ lead with respect to the two-year pilot program they started to get injured workers off dangerous and addictive opioids.  Continue reading

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In a recent case form the Iowa Supreme Court, a worker who was injured on the job was seeking a permanent total disability (PTD) rating.  He was also seeking what is known as a partial computation of benefits via a lump sum benefits award.

workers' compensation lawyer Boston In this case, worker was injured while on the job and this resulted in permanent paralysis. His employer, through its workers’ compensation insurance company, argued that claimant was not entitled to a PTD status and also refused to pay lump sum benefits.  At this point, plaintiff filed a workers’ compensation lawsuit, as he alleged employer acted in bad faith when denying the claims, and, under state laws, this allowed him to seek compensatory plus punitive damages.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff, complete with punitive damages. However, on appeal, the court reversed, holding that punitive damages were not appropriate. Continue reading

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A recent article from Huffington Post features a commentary from a labor union president arguing that safety violations resulting in the death of workers should be punishable by prison time instead of mere fines, as if often the case. Every 12 days, a member of his union or one of their coworkers is killed in a workplace accident. This, he says, has been the status quo for a long time.

truckThe deaths he is talking about are not only preventable, but quite horrific.  He discusses how workers are crushed by heavy equipment, drowned in vats of toxic chemicals or even burned to death.  After these deaths occur, they will happen again and again to other workers, and this is what he is trying to stop. Continue reading

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The death of a worker  in Massachusetts at a used auto part company was deemed preventable, according to a review by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration. The work-related fatality was reportedly the direct result of the company’s failure to adhere to proper safety training standards.tires

The worker was reportedly inflating a tire at the store, located in Bellingham, when all of the sudden, he was hit hard in the head by a “chain come-a-long,” which is a device commonly used to affix rim wheels onto tires.

This was at the end of October of last year. The worker died less than two weeks later.  OSHA’s investigation, conducted by local inspectors, concluded the company did not provide adequate training to the worker and other employees, and also failed in the responsibility to make sure there were proper safeguards on the equipment.  Continue reading

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In Massachusetts, the workers’ compensation system is codified in a section of the Massachusetts General Laws known as the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA). The WCA provides that whenever an employee is injured on the job, that injured employee shall be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and the worker shall not be required to prove the employer was negligent in connection with the workplace injury.

shipThis is beneficial to the employee, because it will often take much less time to get approved for a workers’ compensation claim than it would take to settle a civil personal injury or to take the case to trial, should a fair and appropriate settlement not be reached. However, as an advantage to the employer, the employee is not able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit after an on-the-job injury in the vast majority of cases.  This limits their exposure, as there are no damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages.   Continue reading

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When we think about a person who is injured on the job and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, we are often thinking of any employee who suffered some type of traumatic injury while at work.  This could be when a person falls at work, or a heavy object hits them on the head, or it can even be from exposure to caustic chemicals, since a person can get workers’ compensation benefits from a work-related illness.

handHowever, one of the more common workplace injuries is often overlooked, and people do not make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits when they probably should.  This is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is a common type of repetitive stress injury (RSI) caused by performing the same or similar tasks on a regular basis throughout the day for many workdays. Continue reading

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In Capital Builders Hardware v. WCAB, a case from the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellant District, claimant was injured in an industrial accident while working for his employer, which is a major construction company. While the court opinion does not specify how he was injured or the type of injury he sustained, we do know that he filed for workers’ compensation following his injury.

worker3After filing his workers’ compensation claim, his employer, through its workers’ compensation insurance company representative, filed a motion to exclude the admission of a particular medical report into the record in this case.  The administrative judge at the workers’ compensation commission denied the employer’s request to exclude the medical report and indicated that his dismissal was without prejudice. Continue reading

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In Mordhorst v. Dakota Truck Underwriters, a 22-year-old claimant was working for a furniture company doing deliveries.  One day while on the job, he was delivering a sofa that weighed nearly 300 pounds.  While delivering this couch, it fell off the back of the delivery truck and landed on claimant’s head and shoulders.  He was knocked to the ground and was rendered unconscious for a short period of time.

sofaThe day after this workplace accident, claimant went to get medical treatment for his injuries. He was eventually seen by two physicians and treated by a number of physical therapists.  He claimed an injured back and neck.  He was given an MRI, and that test showed he had a herniated disc in his spine.  His doctors also observed that his posture was forward in such a way as to indicate he was trying to compensate the pain in his neck and back.  This type of compensation will often result in additional damage to the patient because he is constantly carrying himself in an unnatural manner. Continue reading

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When we think of the typical workers’ compensation case, if there is such a thing, we tend to think of an injury caused by some type of accident while on the job.  In some cases, we are talking to about an illness caused by chemical exposure or some other type of hazardous material including asbestos, but sometimes a worker is injured or even killed by the intentional act of another person or employee.  If this happens, the worker or his or her family can still file a workers’ compensation case in many instances, and that may be the only remedy available.

gunshot-300x225According to a recent article form NBC News, a deli worker in Queens, New York was shot and killed while working during an attempted robbery that went horribly wrong.  Authorities have said the robbery occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. at the deli in the Jamaica neighborhood. Two gunmen are alleged to have come into the store through the rear entrance. Continue reading