Massachusetts Work Injury Lawyers
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers. For over almost 30 years, we have used our skills and knowledge to prove job-related cartilage injuries in difficult cases. Based in Boston, we work non-stop to represent injured workers throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
Articular Cartilage Damage
Cartilage is the vital connective tissue cushioning bones and joints. Some body parts are composed only of cartilage, such as the ears, and others depend on cartilage to carry out their most important functions. Without cartilage, excessive friction damages the joints and can even cause permanent disability. Although sometimes referred to as “gristle,” cartilage is easy to injure and hard to heal. Its total lack of blood supply can result in permanent disfigurement to “elastic” cartilage, and total incapacity in joints supported by “hyaline” and “fibrocartilage.”
Work-Related Cartilage Injury
Because work places stress on joints over time, many workers believe that cartilage injury is part of the job. But cartilage is often damaged by on-the-job accidents and work-related “wear and tear.” Common cartilage injuries caused in the course of employment involve:
- Slipped discs
- Falls or impact
- Sore, infections
- Joint dislocation
- Repetitive motion
- Lack of movement
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Broken, fractured bones
- Ligament, meniscus tears
The National Institutes of Health estimates that one third of all adults over 45 years of age suffer some kind of cartilage damage, especially in the knee. Other commonly injured joints include the shoulder, elbow, and hand. Carpal tunnel, for example, is caused by repetitive stress on the wrist.
Compensable Cartilage Injury
Massachusetts law provides benefits for “compensable” work-related injuries regardless of fault. Awards of workers’ compensation are governed by Massachusetts General Law (MGL) c. 152. Under this chapter, cartilage injury that is caused by cumulative trauma over many years can be compensable. Arthritis, degenerative disc or joint disease, and carpal tunnel are all potentially compensable injuries when caused or exacerbated by work. However, the worker must prove that the cartilage injury arose out of “and in the course of” carrying out the duties of employment.
Proving Job-Related Causes
Compared to traumatic accidents and physical injuries, proving that cartilage damage is work-related can be difficult. Even showing that employment is a “predominant contributing cause” of injury is a high burden of proof. In fact, employers and insurers often use MGL c. 152 § 1(7)A to deny benefits for “combination” injuries like cartilage damage that results from a “non-compensable” pre-existing degenerative joint disease and a “compensable” injury clearly caused by work. As such, it is important to have skilled legal counsel present to represent your rights and recover compensation in hard-to-prove cases such as those involving cartilage injury.
If your cartilage injury was caused or aggravated by work, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. We have successfully helped numerous workers disprove arguments that their cartilage injuries are not compensable under Massachusetts law. The attorneys in our Boston office have almost 30 years of experience recovering compensation for injured employees in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth, Merrimack River, and other counties. Call (800) 367-0871 today for a free consultation or contact us online