In order to collect workers’ compensation under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker must be able to show that not only was he or she involved in an accident at work but also that the accident caused disability. The proof of the causal relationship between an accident and disability requires, in most cases, an opinion from a doctor. Without such an opinion, an employee rarely obtains the benefits that he or she may rightfully deserve.
It is absolutely essential that an injured worker give an accurate medical history to those who treat his or her injuries. Merely stating that I hurt my knee when I fell may not be enough. If you fell at work, then be sure to state that the injury occurred at work. If you do not provide such a history when you first seek treatment, later attempts to add a description of the accident may be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism by all involved in your case; doctors, insurers, lawyers, employers, and most importantly, judges. If you were hurt on the job say that you were injured at work. Do not assume that the providers know that important fact.
If you previously injured yourself on the job be sure to tell the doctor that you had a prior work-related injury, as a mere aggravation of prior work-related injury is probably sufficient to entitle one to workers’ compensation benefits under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act. Tell your doctor of any pre-existing injuries that occurred outside of work, as the aggravation of pre-existing conditions may be compensable so long as that aggravation is a major contributing cause of disability under Massachusetts Workers Compensation law.
Chances are good that the doctor will order an x-ray or MRI that will show the prior injury, so be honest. No one likes it when he or she is misled. Misstate or deny that you had a prior injury that shows up on a test, and your credibility will suffer thereafter. But most importantly, an accurate history may lead to a faster diagnosis, which will place you on the road to recovery sooner, which should always be the goal.
An accurate history containing a specific statement that one was injured at work is the cornerstone of a successful claim under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act. While it is not a guarantee that you will receive benefits, it will provide a solid foundation upon which your claim can be pursued, and will give valuable insight to those who provide medical treatment as they work to restore your good health.
If you are uncertain about any of these steps contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assist in this process. A lawyer who deals with work related injury can provide you with insight into the issues associated with this important decision, and should be able to provide needed assistance if the insurer refuses to honor its legal obligations to you.
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To speak with a highly experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, click here, or telephone Parker Scheer LLP seven days a week, toll free at 886-414-0400. There is no fee charged to discuss your case, and all information furnished will be kept strictly confidential.