Workers' CompensationMassachusetts Appellate Court Upholds Permanent and Total Disability Award in Traumatic Healthcare Work Injury Accident

June 29, 20200

A work injury can take on various forms. It can be a temporary injury that heals after appropriate treatment and rest or it can be a life-changing injury that leads to a long-term or permanent disability. Regardless of the extent of the injury that you suffer, you may be entitled to compensation through the workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts. The benefits and medical reimbursements are meant to help you cope with the impact of your work-related injury and to ensure that you receive the medical care that you need and deserve. As seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyers, Mass Injury Group is available to assist you with exploring your legal rights and options.

In a recent workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts, a worker suffered traumatic injuries while on the job as an aid in a psychiatric facility. A patient of the facility attacked him resulting in loss of consciousness. The man received medical treatment for an extensive list of injuries including a fractured right leg, deep vein thrombosis, instability, and chronic pain. The employee sought benefits and filed a claim. The judge awarded benefits initially and noted in the award that the worker suffered from a number of pre-existing conditions but that they were not affected by the work-related accident. Some of these pre-existing injuries included degenerative arthritis in his spine.

Sometime thereafter, the employee filed another claim seeking more benefits related to the attack. The judge determined that the worker was permanently and totally disabled as a result of the attack. The evidence showed that the worker could not take care of himself or complete daily tasks at home without assistance. In this order, the judge maintained the position that the pre-existing back injury did not impact the new work-related injury in any manner.


The insurance company for the worker’s employer appealed the judge’s award of benefits. It argued that the court erred when it adopted a medical report from an independent medical examiner stating that the employee was permanently and totally disabled because the doctor relied in part on the pre-existing back injury. The appellate court was not persuaded by this argument and rejected the appeal. It concluded that a judge is allowed to adopt portions of a medical report and is not required to adopt in full. Here, the judge specifically noted that the prior findings regarding the pre-existing injury and its relation to the case were not disturbed and that the evidence did not show any changes in the worker’s injuries or post-injury condition that were connected to the back injury

If you or a loved one were injured while at work, you may be entitled to benefits to compensate you for your missed wages while you recover. Many people suffer from some type of injury or condition, which can make a workers’ compensation claim more complex. An insurer may argue that your benefits claim should be denied because your pre-existing injury is the primary source of your pain. At Mass Injury Group, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers will fight diligently for your rights and ensure that you receive the fair outcome you deserve. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 617-263-0060 or contact us online.

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