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Years Later, MA Employers May Try to Discontinue Benefits

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries were reported in 2012, the most recent year in which data is available. That means nearly 3 million injured workers could have been in need of worker’s compensation. An injury sustained on the job can easily cause more than physical pain. If the injury is serious enough, the victim may need to miss work, or leave the job altogether. If you were hurt on the job, it is advised that you speak with a Boston Worker’s Compensation Attorney.

Worker’s compensation was established to guarantee certain benefits to those who are hurt on the job, depending on the severity of the injury and how it affects the everyday life of the victim. According to Massachusetts law, workers’ compensation benefits generally include coverage of medical bills, disability payments, 60% of your average income (more if the victim is disabled as a result of the injury), and other forms of compensation specific to the type and scope of the injury suffered. The system is supposed to allow employees to heal while still supporting their families, but sometimes the system does not follow through.

Business insider (citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data) reports that the most common injuries sustained in the workplace that required days off from the job were sprains, strains, and tears, varying in severity. The most commonly injured body part was the back, by a significant margin. Interestingly enough, the riskiest occupation, also according to the BLS is nursing. Nurses in a state government-run facility are even more likely to suffer an injury on the job than firefighters, policemen, and other first responders, which came in at number two on the annually-compiled list.

Nurses have a tough job; one that often requires dealing with difficult patients who do not always want to accept medical attention. BLS data shows that nurses had “13.1 cases of injury or illness per 100 employees, with 7.4 requiring days away from work, job transfer, or restriction.” In a recent highly publicized case, a nurse was kicked in the temple by an unruly patient. She sustained serious head trauma. Her medical providers, including a neurologist, deemed that she was no longer able to work as a result of her injuries sustained at the hospital.

More than 20 years later, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, her employer, asked the court for a discontinuance of her benefits because they believed that the injuries were no longer related to the original accident. A more recent medical examination determined that her symptoms were most likely caused by bipolar disorder, which generally develops around age thirty. She was 28 when the accident occurred. Despite efforts by the former nurse’s attorney, judges rejected the appeal and her benefits were ceased, leaving her unable to work and without benefits from her former employer.

Experiencing any type of severe workplace injury can be a life-altering event and may not only prevent you from returning to work, but cause emotional and physical stress that may inhibit you from returning to your normal life. If you or someone you love have suffered an injury in the workplace, call Altman & Altman to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Massachusetts Worker Compensation Lawyers for a free initial consultation. For nearly 50 years, our dedicated attorneys have been helping clients recover workers’ compensation benefits, lost wages, medical expenses, and compensation for emotional pain and suffering. It may seem impossible going up against a big corporation, but our team has consistently and successful fought against some of the largest companies in the state. Our attorneys are available around the clock to assist you through each and every part of your case and to answer any and all of your questions.

Read more about the riskiest occupations here.

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