Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Compensation Award to Employee who Suffered Disfigurement due to a Work Injury

If you’ve been hurt on the job, you might be eligible to recoup workers’ compensation benefits. Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers will meticulously examine the facts of your case and assist you in filing your claim. With over 25 years of experience, our firm is well versed in the state’s workers’ compensations laws and can help you pursue the compensation you need to deal with your injuries and move on with your life.

Work injuries range from broken bones to back injuries to disfigurement. Disfigurement, in this context, is the state of having one’s appearance spoiled by a workplace injury. A prominent facial scar, for instance, would be one example of disfigurement. In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals weighed in on a claim involving a worker who sustained a left-knee injury that resulted in a limp. Specifically, the employee said he suffered multiple disfigurements due to the accident. The lower court awarded the worker $8,205.53 in damages. Both the insurance company and the injured employee appealed.

As part of the appeal, the employee went through a medical examination by an independent doctor who determined that the worker walked without an obvious limp. Following this, the insurance company withdrew the appeal that it submitted in response to the original damages award. At this point, the only issue left in the case pertained to how much compensation the employee should receive.

At a different hearing, the judge made his own assessment of the employee’s limp based on a visual observation. The judge stated that he noticed that the worker’s walk had a slight limp and went on to say that the worker was a credible witness when he testified about his own knee injury. The judge also adopted testimony from the insurance company’s private investigator who had conducted surveillance on the employee while the claim was pending. Due to all of these factors, the judge decided that the worker should receive $10,940.70 for his harm.

The insurance company appealed, arguing that the judge did not give enough weight to the physician’s report, which stated that the employee did not walk with an obvious limp. The appeals court disagreed with the insurer, reasoning that there was not a medical issue in the case and that the only issue to be resolved was how much compensation the injured worker should be entitled to. After examining the report and decision order, the appeals court held that the judge’s decision about the limp was adequately in line with what the physician concluded in the report. Thus, the damages award was upheld.

If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. While it is easy in theory, the process of actually obtaining these benefits is often quite complicated. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our seasoned Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys understand the nuances of this area of law and can help you secure the compensation you deserve. For more information, please feel free to call us today at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.