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Workers' Compensation Death Benefits

How does workers’ compensation work in Boston?

When a worker is injured on the job in Boston, he or she is typically prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court and must instead file a workers’ compensation claim. This system was introduced as a compromise between the needs of injured workers and the desire for business owners to be able to predict the cost of workplace injuries, so it can be included in their budgets.

The advantage to the injured worker is that there is no need to prove negligence in the case of an on-the-job injury. As opposed to a civil lawsuit, where an accident that was non-negligent is not actionable, workers’ compensation benefits are appropriate for any accident that occurred at work, even if it was not the employer’s fault. This will allow for a financial recovery in more cases than in civil personal injury lawsuits, where negligence must be established.

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the workers’ compensation system.

What is covered in Boston workers’ compensation cases?

In workers’ compensation matters in Massachusetts, employees who are injured on the job can be compensated for hospital bills, lost wages, and the cost of future medical expenses related to the injury. Many of these costs are far greater than one might initially think.

An example would be an on-the-job injury that results in a below-the-knee amputation. A modern artificial leg costs much more than it did a few decades ago. A custom prosthetic limb costs on average, more than $10,000 and only has a usable lifespan of three years. This means that every three years for the rest of the workers’ life, they will have to spend over $10,000 on a new prosthetic leg. This should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

What happens if a worker is killed on the job in Boston?

We typically think of workers’ compensation as being used to cover workers who are injured on the job. What happens if a fatal workplace injury occurs? Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC know when a worker is killed on the job, his or her family can file a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits.

Workers’ compensation death benefits in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will cover the hospital bills associate with the fatal accident, funeral expenses, and lost wages. In the case of a fatal on the job accident in Boston, lost wages can include the amount of money the worker would have earned during the remainder of his or her working life, had the fatal injury not occurred. His or her family members were dependent on the workers’ earnings during life and are still dependent on that money after death. It is not like the worker’s surviving spouse and children no longer need that money after he or she has been killed at work.

How are Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Awarded in Boston?

Workers’ compensation death benefits can be paid as either a lump sum one-time payment or paid out each month over time. This will depend on the type of settlement or court award associated with a particular case. However, workers’ compensation insurance carriers and employers worried about rising premiums may try to offer a family much less than the claim is worth. This is why you want an attorney who regularly handles these types of cases on your side to fight for a full and appropriate workers’ compensation benefits award.

It may be necessary for your attorney to consult with an economic expert and medical experts to show that the worker’s total lifetime earnings, had he or she not been killed in a on-the-job injury, would be significantly higher than the amount calculated by the employer or insurance company

If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers' compensation claim: 1-(617) 367-2900.

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