Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to those who are injured on the job. They may also be entitled to seek civil claims for damages if their injuries were caused by the negligence of someone other than their employer. The defendant will frequently try to submit evidence of the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation benefits during the civil proceedings, but they will almost always be barred from doing so since it would be detrimental to the plaintiff. A Massachusetts court recently addressed the issue of whether the converse is true, in a matter in which the plaintiff produced evidence of his workers’ compensation claim during a civil trial. If you were hurt in a dog a dog attack, you may be owed compensation, and you should speak to a skilled Massachusetts personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
According to reports, the plaintiff, a mail carrier, covered a route for one of his coworkers. The defendant’s dog approached him when he was delivering mail to the defendant’s house. He tried to give the dog a treat, but the dog attacked him, biting his wrist and shaking his head ferociously. After the plaintiff removed his arm from the dog’s mouth, it bit him on the left leg. He managed to extricate himself from the dog, after which the defendant emerged from his home and inquired if the dog had “got” him.
The plaintiff allegedly sustained a wrist injury and subsequently filed a workers’ compensation claim. He then brought a civil complaint against the defendant, claiming liability under the dog bite law. The plaintiff moved to add proof of the workers’ compensation benefits he recovered after the attack into evidence at trial. The defendant argued that such information would be used as proof of causation and damages by the jury, and was therefore prejudicial. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion. The jury found for the plaintiff, awarding him over $300,000 in damages. The defendant then filed a motion for a reversal of the decision. Continue reading