When Massachusetts workers are injured at the workplace, their entire livelihoods can be at stake. And although many work-related accidents stem from the inherent dangerousness of particular jobs, preventable accidents occur far too frequently. To further complicate this severe problem, the injuries sustained in a work environment can be potentially serious enough to keep someone out of work for an extended period of time. In tragic cases, work-related accidents can even result in the death of an employee. Fortunately, there is a unique set of laws in Massachusetts that govern these types of cases, and which are designed to protect incapacitated workers and their families from falling into financial ruin.
Massachusetts worker’s compensation law, as set forth in the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 152, is a complex wage replacement system that allows injured employees to collect payment for medical costs and lost wages when they are forced out of work due to an injury at work. This statute is considered “no fault,” which means that regardless of whether an employee’s own negligence contributed to the occurrence of his/her injuries on the job, he/she is entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits. In order to obtain a damage award in a worker’s compensation case, the work-related injury must have: (1) occurred on the job; (2) necessitated medical treatment; and (3) the injured victim must have been unable to return to work for five days or more as a result of the injuries.
These benefits, depending on the employer and type of work involved, can vary. However, standard benefit agreements usually include medical costs and expense coverage, a percentage of average income lost, compensation for permanent disfigurement, and disability payments. In some cases, worker’s compensation benefits may even include vocational retraining, particularly in the event that an employee’s injuries prevent him/her from returning to their previous position.
Employers are mandated to offer worker’s compensation benefits under state law, and typically enter into agreements with their workers. In exchange for worker’s compensation benefits, employees usually forfeit the right to file a lawsuit against their employer after suffering work-related injuries.
The requirement of employers to offer worker’s compensation benefits is enforced by the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which is an organization that conducts its own hearings and investigations and is separate from the Massachusetts civil court system. Because worker’s compensation cases are handled outside the state court system, the process of resolving disputes between workers and employers is often made simpler and more efficient.
Despite the many safeguards provided by Massachusetts worker’s compensation laws, recovering the full amount to which employees are entitled can still be a painstaking ordeal. Many employers and their insurance companies, in an effort to decrease or negate liability, may argue that an employee’s injury did not occur at the worksite, or that the employee is entitled to less than they are claiming. In some alarming instances, the employer may try to force the injured worker to return to work against the advice of a licensed medical professional, thereby putting the employee’s health and well-being at great risk.
Because of the complex nature of Massachusetts worker’s compensation law, it is imperative for those affected by work-related injuries or work-related deaths to seek out a competent and assertive Boston worker’s compensation attorney. It is also critical to note that there is a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time that an injured Massachusetts worker may have to file a claim. If you do not act within the necessary amount of time, you may be forever barred from recovering damages for your injuries!
Our Massachusetts worker’s compensation attorneys have been successfully handling Massachusetts worker’s compensation claims for over two decades and have earned a national reputation as a result. Our wrongful death lawyers, having settled hundreds of cases for millions of dollars in damages, are your best resource in a legal dispute with employers and insurance companies involving the death of an employee.
For the families of work-related accident victims, the financial burdens can be devastating. If your family has been negatively impacted by a work site accident, do not hesitate to contact our team of personal injury experts, 24/7, at 617-787-3700, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are proud to be your advocates in this time of crisis, and will work diligently to see that you receive due compensation for all of your personal injuries sustained on the job. Your needs are our top priority!