Can you get Workers’ Compensation for Arthritis in Massachusetts?
Workers’ compensation is a system under which injured workers and employees can be compensated without filing a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, in Massachusetts, an employee covered by workers’ compensation is prohibited from suing their employer for damages. While this might feel like a major restriction on your rights, the workers’ compensation system covers most workers in Massachusetts and compensates them for many different types of injuries. Injuries like arthritis, which are often made worse over time, may be covered.
Workers’ compensation may cover arthritis in Massachusetts if certain conditions are met. Perhaps most importantly, your arthritis must be significantly related to your work and job duties. Many people have a family history of arthritis and may be genetically predisposed to developing it at some point. It could also occur because of any number of independent factors. However, even if your arthritis was a pre-existing injury, you could still claim workers’ compensation if your job greatly exacerbated your arthritis. The amount of compensation you can receive depends on the extent of your arthritis.
If you developed arthritis and can no longer work, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers might be able to help. It is possible that repeated work duties caused your condition, and you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Schedule a free legal consultation with our team at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. Call (617) 925-6407 to set up a meeting with our staff.
Does Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Cover Arthritis?
Arthritis is not commonly associated with work-related injuries but, depending on your circumstances, it could be covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation frequently compensates employees who were injured in work-related accidents. Slip-and-falls in the office or industrial accidents in factories and warehouses are not unusual. However, not all injuries are sustained so suddenly.
In Massachusetts, the workers’ compensation system may cover sudden injuries, like accidents, and injuries that arise gradually over time. The key component to both types of cases is that the injuries must be related to your job. Even injuries that arise over time, like arthritis, must be connected to your job duties.
The tricky part about injuries that occur slowly and become worse over time is that it is not always clear when or how they began. You will likely be questioned about your arthritis when you file for workers’ compensation, and your opponent may argue your arthritis was a pre-existing condition. Even so, pre-existing conditions can be covered by workers’ compensation if your working conditions made them significantly worse.
Work conditions or duties that can lead to injuries like arthritis often involve repeated physical actions. For example, repetitive lifting or bending over, duties often found in more physically demanding jobs, can lead to joint issues like arthritis. Similarly, office work like typing or constantly sitting in front of a computer screen can cause problems in your hands and wrists or your neck and back. Call our Cambridge workers’ compensation lawyers for help with your claim today.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts
Injuries related to sudden accidents are more common in workers’ compensation cases. These accidents are often sudden and can lead to debilitating damages for the workers involved. Many of these accidents stem from unsafe working conditions, like faulty equipment or a lack of proper safety gear. However, these are not the only kinds of accidents covered under Massachusetts workers’ compensation.
According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152 § 1(7a), a personal injury can include any number of physical afflictions. The law includes infectious disease, physical injuries, and mental trauma among possible injuries that workers’ compensation may cover. The law also states that when a workplace injury is combined with a pre-existing condition, it may lead to a greater injury covered by worker’s compensation. Call our Massachusetts workers compensation attorneys for more information.
Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts for Pre-Existing Arthritis Conditions
Injuries sustained over time due to the nature of the job may also be covered by workers’ compensation. This coverage could include your arthritis. As mentioned previously, your arthritis might have been a pre-existing condition not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if your working conditions or job duties exacerbated your arthritis or created harm that combined with your arthritis, your overall injuries could be compensable. So, even if you already had arthritis, you can be compensated if your job made your condition worse or deteriorate faster.
According to the same statute mentioned above, workers’ compensation may cover an injury sustained due to a combination of work-related conditions and pre-existing conditions. However, compensation will only cover your injuries to the extent your job caused them. Additionally, your work must have been a significant contributing factor but not necessarily the predominant one.
For example, a person may be prone to arthritis when they accept a job, but over time their job duties aggravate their condition and make it much worse than it otherwise would have been. You’ll need to demonstrate that your work aggravated your arthritis and that your arthritis prevents you from working to be compensated. Contact our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers for help today.
Work That May Lead to Arthritis and a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many repetitive, physical jobs can lead to arthritis complications. Things like repeated bending and lifting often associated with more labor-intensive jobs have been known to lead to arthritis and joint problems. However, office work like constant typing or hunching over a computer screen can lead to arthritis and joint issues in your hands, back, and neck.
Understanding the nature of your job is crucial to determining how your arthritis was caused or made worse. Jobs that are more physically intensive are more likely to cause physical damage. However, seemingly harmless office jobs may also contribute to your problems with arthritis. Call our Malden workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss how your work may have interacted with your arthritis, leaving you unable to continue working.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys About Your Arthritis
If your arthritis prevents you from returning to work or working to your fullest capabilities, our team could help you. Our Somerville workers’ compensation attorneys will help you prove that your job duties contributed to your health problems. Call (617) 925-6407 to speak with the team at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan about a free legal consultation.