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North Andover Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Appealing a denial of workers' compensation benefits

A very high percentage of applications for workers' compensation benefits in Massachusetts are denied. Fortunately for injured workers, the workers' compensation statute provides a multi-level appeal process in which an injured worker may be able to obtain a reversal of the initial denial.

The first level of appeal is a written appeal to the Department of Industrial Accidents. The worker must provide the date of the injury, the first calendar day of missed work, the employer's workers' compensation insurer, the nature of the injury or illness, the nature of the benefits that are being requested, the potential number of days off work, the name of the first provider seen for treatment and the current provider.

Crane mechanic dies after falling into engine of crane

As this blog often notes, accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, and they can injure even the most experienced employees. The workers' compensation system provides a way for injured workers to pay for medical expenses and other costs after an accident. In the event of a fatal accident, workers' compensation benefits can help the worker's family.

Recently, an 82-year-old man was killed in a workplace accident while he was working on the engine of a crane at a construction site. According to news reports, the man had worked repairing cranes across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire since he was 18. On this occasion, he was called to a construction site in New Hampshire to perform maintenance on a crane that was not working properly.

Construction worker killed in crane accident

The machinery that construction workers in Massachusetts use in their projects can dig deep holes in the earth, lift huge beams and drag tons of bricks anywhere they are needed. Sadly, they also seriously injure, even kill workers sometimes.

When a construction is worker is killed in an accident with a machine, the victim’s family is left to pick up the pieces. They must figure out how to move on without their spouse or parent. Workers’ compensation death benefits can help with the financial loss, though it cannot fill the emotional void.

Police officers credited with saving worker's life

Workplace accidents often happen in seconds. A worker is operating a machine or feeding metal or wood into the machine when suddenly, the machine traps an arm or leg. Quick action is often the difference between life and death when a workplace accident occurs. Two Rockland police officers have been credited with taking quick action that saved the life of a machine operator whose arm had been severed by the machine he was operating.

The two officers responded to a 911 call at about 5:50 a.m. from National Coating Corporation, saying that a machine operator was operating a machine when suddenly, his arm got caught in the gears. The gears pulled the man toward the machine and severed his arm. When police arrived, they found the 66-year-old worker sitting on a chair with a large pool of blood on the floor.

Obtaining SSDI benefits for back pain

One of the most common complaints made by people who work with their hands or legs is lower back pain. Many residents of North Andover and surrounding communities have experienced high levels of lower back pain; in many such cases, the pain becomes disabling and the victim is no longer able to work. The Social Security Administration recognizes the disabling potential of back pain, and it has established a number of spinal disorders that may qualify the victim for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

The conditions are listed in the SSA Bluebook as disorders of the spine. To be considered disabling, these conditions must be accompanied by evidence of one of three conditions. The first condition is nerve root compression, limited motion of the spine, motor loss and sensory or reflex loss. A second condition must present evidence of spinal arachnoiditis in an operative note, pathology report or acceptable imaging. The third category must be traced to lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and be verified by appropriate and medically acceptable imaging.

What workers’ compensation benefits are available?

Just about everyone has heard of workers’ compensation. Not everyone knows the extent of what it can do for them, though. Workers’ comp is a type of insurance which virtually every employer is required to carry. If you are an employee who is injured while performing your job, then workers’ compensation steps in to help you cover the costs associate with your injury.

Benefit coverage is not limited to just hospital bills. You may receive financial benefits for a wide variety of things which we will cover here. One thing to remember is that time is always a factor with workers’ comp. You will want to report your injury to your supervisor and begin the application process as soon as possible.

Comparing state workers' compensation and federal SSDI benefits

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States government each administer a program intended to provide significant financial benefits for people afflicted by various kinds of illnesses and injuries. The two programs are often misunderstood or confused. The differences between the two programs are significant, and anyone considering applying for benefits should understand these differences.

The workers' compensation program operated by the Commonwealth's Department of Industrial Accidents provides benefits for anyone who suffers an illness or injury at work. The injury must cause a disability that is either permanent or temporary and either total or partial. Benefits are paid according to a schedule established by the legislature and adjusted by the Department of Industrial Accidents. A claimant must prove that the illness or accident is related to their employment and must also prove the extent of the injury or illness. All claimants have the right to appeal an adverse decision on their application. The injury or illness need not be permanent, and the disability can be partial.

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Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.

Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.

Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.
555 Turnpike Street
Suite 44
North Andover, MA 01845

Phone: 978-291-6161
Fax: 978-682-3330
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