Our office was hired by an employee in his late fifties, who was injured on the job. This client was seeking legal representation to help him with his workers compensation case in Massachusetts. Our client was working for a large corporation and was responsible for moving and storing the employer’s products in retail stores across Massachusetts. In 2015 this employee was at a local retail store and was pulling a two thousand pound pallet of product when he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. He tried to shake off the pain and finish his daily work. He made a great decision and reported his injury to his employer that day.
After a sleepless night with severe pain and discomfort, this employee saw his primary care doctor the next day. His doctor was concerned about the shoulder injury and ordered the employee to stay out of work. His doctor also sent this client to have an MRI on his shoulder due to his suspicion of a rotator cuff injury. In this specific case, the workers compensation insurance company voluntarily paid total disability benefits and medical benefits almost immediately. This was most likely due to the fact that this client reported the injury and saw a doctor right away. This meant that our client starting receiving disability checks very soon after the injury.
Our client had the MRI within a couple of weeks. The MRI showed a right sided complete supraspinatus tendon tear, bicep tendon tear, superior labral tear. In other words, our client suffered a complete tear of his rotator cuff. After seeing the results of the MRI, our client’s doctor referred him to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon met with our client and reviewed the MRI results and other medical records from this injury. Surgery was recommended by the surgeon. The employee underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair about a month after the injury. The client continued to receive his workers comp disability checks while he was out of work.
After the surgery, our client did physical therapy for quite a while with some improvement with mobility and strength in his shoulder. The orthopedic surgeon was still concerned about our client’s ability to work because of the slow progress with recovery following the surgery and because of his duties and responsibilities at his job. It was at this point in the case that the workers comp insurance company started to change its position. The insurance company began to argue that this employee (our client) was not totally disabled, but only partially disabled. The insurance company also explained that they had no interest in settling this case and then filed a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) to modify the employee’s benefits from total disability to partial disability.
Our office took action right away and began to advocate for our client. We began thorough and detailed review of our client’s medical records and prepared to represent our client in court at the DIA. Just prior to the conference in court our office was able to convince the insurance company to consider a lump sum settlement. Through comprehensive negotiations with the insurance company and their attorneys, we were able to obtain a $60,000 lump sum settlement for our client. The settlement amount comprised of approximately 3 years of future benefits. Since this client was also collecting social security disability, we were also able to stretch out this settlement over his natural life expectancy so it would not significantly impact on his SSDI benefits.
If you or someone you know was injured on the job and are having a tough time getting the benefits you deserve or the insurance company is trying to reduce or terminate your benefits, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. We are happy to sit down with you and provide a free evaluation of your work injury to see how we can best help you.