Boston Workers' Compensation Attorneys Serving Massachusetts
The Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at the Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers know nearly all employers and employees in the Commonwealth are covered in cases of work-related injury.
Workers’ compensation is a benefit required under Massachusetts law, Chapter 152 .Benefits: Lost Wages, Disability, Medical Costs
The intent of workers’ compensation is to provide a means for injured workers and/or their families to collect weekly wage loss benefits for total and partial disability , medical costs , vocational re-retraining expenses, death benefits , funeral costs and other costs associated with being injured on the job.
Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys have secured workers’ compensation benefits for clients in the greater Boston area for decades. In fact, our dedication and commitment to fighting on behalf of injured workers is one of the founding principles of our firm.
I dealt with attorney Melissa to manage my workers comp case. She helped explain the ins and outs of the process, and got me the money I was entitled to. She was very easy to work with. Highly recommend!
- Patrick Mulkerrin
Workers' compensation (often shortened to "workers' comp") is a type of insurance coverage that provides medical and financial benefits to employees who are injured or become ill while on the job. Workers’ compensation provides eligible employees with weekly payments to replace lost wages when they cannot work, and medical treatment coverage to help workers recover from workplace injuries. Workers' compensation can also provide compensation to certain family members of workers killed in the course of their work.
Workers' compensation insurance is a type of insurance coverage that employers buy in case one of their employees sustains an injury or illness while working. All Massachusetts employers are required to carry a workers' compensation insurance policy. The policy provides eligible employees with financial and medical benefits. By collecting workers' compensation benefits, employees give up their right to sue their employer for any negligence they may have committed to cause the employee's injuries. Workers' compensation insurance helps expedite an employee's recovery, ensures workers have money for their bills when they cannot work, and provides medical treatment coverage to ensure no financial losses from mounting medical bills. It also provides security for employers by ensuring their employees cannot sue them for negligence.
Workers' compensation regulations vary from state to state, with each imposing its own set of standards and policies. In Massachusetts, workers' compensation laws passed by the state legislature are overseen and enforced by the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).
An injured worker's employer pays for workers' compensation insurance to cover the cost of workplace injuries. When a claim is opened, the weekly benefits and medical bills are usually paid by the insurance company retained by the employer. In some rare instances, the worker's employer contributes directly to their insurance coverage and pays the benefits themselves.
No workers' compensation case is the same. Some cases resolve within a few months, while others can last years. How long your workers' compensation case lasts depends largely on how your medical treatment and recovery go, as well as how the insurance company handles your case. Accepted claims often move quicker than ones the insurance company fights.
Workers' compensation coverage starts the moment an employee is injured on the job. Upon sustaining a workplace injury or illness, an employee becomes eligible for coverage of their medical treatment. This allows them to focus on getting healthy without worrying about co-pays or deductibles. Weekly checks, however, do not start until the employee has been out of work for five days. Injured employees are not paid for the first five days of disability unless they remain unable to work for twenty-one or more days.
The amount an injured worker will receive from workers' compensation depends largely on how much they made on average before the work injury and how much of a disability they have. In Massachusetts, workers found to be temporarily, totally disabled are entitled to receive 60% of their average gross pay. Workers found temporarily partially disabled are only entitled to receive a maximum of 45% of their average gross pay. Payments are also limited by maximum and minimum compensation rates, which are set each October based on the statewide average weekly wage in the prior year.
A workers' compensation attorney can help calculate the amount you will receive while out on workers' compensation.
Consulting a Massachusetts workers' compensation lawyer will make securing workers' compensation benefits less intimidating. An experienced workplace injury attorney can help you evaluate the quality of your claim and give clear advice on what steps you should take next. They take the pressure of confusing paperwork and difficult insurance companies off you, so you can focus on getting healthy.
Your workers’ compensation attorney only gets paid if the insurance company does not provide a benefit they are supposed to provide, or if your workers’ compensation claim settles. As a result, speaking with an experienced professional costs you nothing. We recommend contacting a workers' compensation attorney early in your claim to ensure that you stay on the right path.
Boston workers who are injured or become ill as a result of an accident or incident that occurs within the course and scope of employment are eligible for benefits. The Department of Industrial Accidents is the agency responsible for administering workers’ compensation law in Massachusetts. This is the agency that will hear disputes in the event your workers’ compensation claim is denied. It is only if the process is appealed beyond the reviewing board that the case will be forwarded to the state court system.Workers Need to Seek Legal Counsel First
The agency notes that while half of all claims are not disputed by an insurer or an employer, it is “strongly advised” for workers to seek legal counsel if claims are disputed, due to the complexity of workers’ compensation law. The law requires the insurance company to pay the attorney’s fee if you win.
Some of the successful workers’ compensation claims our lawyers have obtained for clients include:
- Auto accidents
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Machine injuries
- Illness related to job stress
- Burn accidents
- Lifting injuries
- Violence in the workplace
- Construction accidents
- Scaffolding falls accidents
- Crane Accidents
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals or toxic materials
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Farming accidents
- Fatality benefits
Type of benefits to which a worker is entitled will depend heavily on the extent of injuries.
Partial Disability Benefits. These benefits are available to workers who have been injured and, as a result, are limited in the amount or type of work they can perform. The law allows workers to collect 60 percent of wages he or she would have earned but for injury, or 60 percent of what he or she lost as a result of the accident. These benefits are paid weekly.
Disfigurement and/or Loss of Function. These benefits are paid when a worker is disfigured or loses function of a body part . This could mean anything from a permanent scar on one’s face or neck to a person who has lost function of an arm, leg, eye or other body parts.
Total Disability Benefits. This type of benefit is available to workers who cannot perform work as a result of their work injury. Workers who receive total disability benefits may retain 60 percent of their average weekly pay (with a max amount capped by state law). That weekly amount is determined by averaging what the worker earned in the 52 weeks prior to the injury. Workers can receive total disability benefits for up to three years.
Total and Permanent Disability Benefits. State law allows an employee unable to work for an extended time due to a work injury to receive total and permanent disability benefits . This will allow a worker to receive up to 60 percent of weekly pay, as well as an offset for the increase in living expenses due to injury. These type of benefits may be paid throughout the remainder of the worker’s life.
Death Benefits. These are benefits available to surviving spouse and/or children of a worker who died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. Here again, the recovery amount is 60 percent of the average weekly wage. There may be other benefits available under this provision as well (i.e., funeral expenses, medical costs, etc.) depending on the circumstances.Workers' Comp Does Not Cover Pain & Suffering
Employees should know workers’ compensation may not cover all expenses relating to injury or illness. For example, workers’ compensation will not cover pain and suffering or loss of consortium. Depending on the circumstance of each case – and particularly in those instances where a worker has suffered a severe or catastrophic injury or death – third-party lawsuits should be explored.Massachusetts Workers' Comp Civil Lawsuits
Under Massachusetts workers’ compensation law’s exclusive remedy provision, employees covered under workers’ compensation can’t sue their employer for additional recovery. However, if there are other responsible parties aside from the employer, they may be held accountable in a civil lawsuit. For example, if a worker is injured due to a machine malfunction, the manufacturer of that machine may be pursued in third-party litigation. Similarly, if a worker is injured in an auto accident, the at-fault driver/insurer may be sued.Proven Boston Workers' Compensation Lawyers
It’s important to note that just because workers are covered for work-related accidents, illnesses and injuries does not mean securing compensation will be a simple, straightforward process. That’s why it’s so critical to hire a workers’ compensation law firm in Massachusetts with proven experience.
Reports released from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and journalism non-profit ProPublica in 2015 revealed that since 2003, lawmakers in 33 states have passed workers’ compensation laws that reduce benefits or make it tougher for persons with certain injuries and illnesses to qualify. Massachusetts, however, has actually improved access to benefits by requiring housekeepers, nannies and other domestic workers made eligible.
Meanwhile, the average premium cost to an employer for workers’ compensation insurance has declined significantly – from $3.67 per $100 worker’s wages in 1988 down to $1.17 in 2014 – a drop of $2.50. This debunks ongoing myths from big business lobbyists aiming to slash benefits that company costs are out-of-control.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Boston based Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers will thoroughly review your case and aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation.
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