It is vital to engage the right advocate when pursing a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim. In In Re Rivera’s Case, a Massachusetts woman hurt her back in a 2003 workplace accident. As a result, the worker received partial disability benefits from May 2005 through September 2005, when her benefits were terminated. At the time of termination, an administrative judge adopted the opinion of a neutral medical examiner and found that there was no longer a causal connection between the worker’s ongoing back pain and her work accident.
About three years later, the worker sought § 36 loss of function workers’ compensation benefits. In her claim, the employee relied on the independent medical opinion of a physician who evaluated her in March 2008. Following a conference on the matter, an administrative judge denied the employee’s claim. The worker next appealed the judge’s order. As part of her appeal, her attorney apparently stated both parties agreed to opt out of a required § 11A impartial medical examination. In response, the worker’s employer promptly disputed the lawyer’s claim and stated the conference order did not indicate such an agreement occurred.