After suffering serious injuries in a work-related accident that required two surgeries and thorough litigation in this Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim, we secured a $107,500 lump sum settlement for our client.
Initially, workers’ compensation voluntarily paid disability benefits to our client, but then terminated them prior to the payment without prejudice period. This client then came to us worried about his injuries and his ability to pay bills after worker comp stopped his payments even though his injuries prevented him from returning to work.
The Work-Related Accident
Our client is a 35-year-old gentleman who was working maintenance at a country club in Salem, Massachusetts. One August afternoon, there was a significant rainstorm and high winds. The weather caused a leak on the top floor of the building. Our client was directed to go up onto the roof to inspect for damage and water.
While on the roof, this worker fell. When he fell, he put his hands out in front of himself to brace for his fall and suffered injuries to his left shoulder and arm. Co-workers came to help, and an ambulance was called right away because of our client’s pain and obvious injuries.
This Worker Suffered Serious Injuries
The ambulance transported our client to a local emergency room in Salem, Massachusetts. X-rays were taken and revealed a dislocated left shoulder. A manipulation procedure was performed to relocate his left shoulder. Our client was placed in a sling and referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
When this worker saw the orthopedic shoulder surgeon, tendon and ligament injuries were suspected. However, our client also had pain in his left elbow. The surgeon initially recommended physical therapy for the shoulder. He was also referred to an elbow specialist. The elbow specialist ordered an electromyography (EMG). This is a diagnostic test that measures responses to the muscles or electrical activity in response to a nerve's stimulation of the muscle. The EMG revealed injuries to the musculocutaneous nerve. Initially, the surgeon recommended conservative medical treatment, which consisted of physical therapy and elbow injections. When conservative care failed, an elbow release surgery was performed.
After the elbow surgery, our client continued to have shoulder pain and limitations. His shoulder specialist ordered an MRI of his left shoulder. The MRI revealed a left torn biceps tendon and Bankart lesion (a tear in the lower rim of the labrum). The shoulder surgeon recommended shoulder surgery. Our client then had shoulder surgery followed by months of therapy and injections to help with recovery, mobility, and strength.
The Litigation and Settlement of this Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claim
Since our client’s accident clearly happened in the course of his employment and his injuries were serious, preventing him from going back to work, workers’ compensation voluntarily paid weekly temporary total disability benefits. Despite our client’s obvious inability to return to work, the insurer arbitrarily terminated payment of the weekly benefits. That is when this client contacted Framingham workers’ compensation attorney Chuck Pappas.
Attorney Pappas evaluated this worker’s case and immediately prepared and filed a claim for benefits. In an effort to get out client benefits right away; the parties were able to reach an agreement where the insurer agreed to pay weekly temporary total disability benefits for a closed period of time. The agreement called for the benefits to change to temporary partial disability benefits. Due to our client’s lack of recovery during treatment, after the benefits changed to partial disability payments, Attorney Pappas filed another claim. Before the case went before an administrative judge at a Conference, the parties reached a Section 19 Agreement whereby the insurer agreed to pay the employee temporary total disability benefits again and then the benefits were to change to partial disability again.
Before the weekly checks changed to partial disability pursuant to the Section 19 Agreement and knowing that our client continued to be unable to return to work, Attorney Pappas filed another claim seeking total disability benefits. This time, days before the case went before an administrative judge for a Conference, Attorney Pappas secured a substantial lump sum settlement for our client. The settlement paid our client $107,500. This was paid weekly workers’ compensation benefits for years into the future. Our client was extremely happy with our efforts in this case and the ultimate result.