Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In 2014, Massachusetts saw 62,100 work-related injuries or illnesses in the private sector, leading to 27,900 cases with days away from work. Some of the highest risk professions include forestry and logging, hospital workers, couriers, and construction.

Workers’ compensation laws in Massachusetts are meant to provide benefits to these types of workers who are injured on the job or in connection with their employment. Generally, a person is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury or illness that occurs while in the course and scope of their employment. In certain situations, it may also be possible to recover damages from a non-employer third party who is at fault for the injury. Workers’ compensation may also provide benefits to the family members of injury victims in situations where an employee is permanently disabled or killed in a work-related accident.

Even though you do not need an attorney to acquire workers’ compensation benefits, often times insurance companies will refuse to pay certain benefits for specific injuries or chronic illnesses. If you are having trouble getting the benefits you deserve or have had your claim rejected, contact our office and see how we can help.  We will not charge you until your case is complete and you have received the medicine and treatment that you require.

Causes of Workers’ Compensation Claims

Every year, workers in Boston suffer injuries or death as a result of:

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Boston

Notify Your Employer of the Injury

The first step to take in filing a claim is to notify your employer in writing. You should include employee identification information and the details of the accident including the location, time, date, injury details, witness information, and what happened. Your employer should then provide you with the claims necessary to file for workers’ compensation.

Seek Medical Attention and Keep Records

You may be required to visit a preferred provider for your initial medical screening. You may also want to visit your personal provider for a second opinion after a workplace accident. Some preferred providers may unfairly be incentivized to change the diagnosis on your charts, which can affect your ability to secure fair compensation.

Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality – Form 101

Form 101 is the form that your employer will need to file with the state’s Department of Industrial Accidents as well as the company’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. The report must be filed within 7 days after the 5th day you are absent from work with an injury. In most cases, an employer will file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf during the appropriate timeframe. Always ask for a copy of the report filing. If your employer does not file a report, you need to report your injury to the Department of Industrial Accidents with the following form.

Employee Claim – Form 110

Employee Claim – Form 110 is the universal form used in the state of Massachusetts, and it is important that you fill out as much of the information as possible. If you are unsure about any of the questions on the form, you can call a toll-free line at 1-800-323-3249, ext. 7470 during business hours to ask for help. This is also the form you would use if any initial claim was later denied by the insurance provider or if the claim settlement is unfair.

Form 110 will ask you information about the type of compensation you are seeking, supporting documentation, information about your injury, and other supporting details. You can have your attorney go over this form with you and sign it as well, which may be a good idea if you have any questions regarding the process. An attorney can also make sure that you are not leaving out supporting information that could lead the Department of Industrial Accidents to return the form to you.

You have four years to file a workers’ compensation claim from the time you are injured, learned that an illness was caused by the workplace, or if you are a survivor of a deceased employee.

Workers’ Comp Benefits and How to Calculate Them

  • Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits: If your injury leaves you unable to work for six or more calendar days, you begin to receive these types of benefits. Depending on your work, age, training, and experience, you can receive them for up to 156 weeks. Compensation begins on the sixth day of being incapacitated, and you will not be compensated for the first five days unless you are disabled for 21 days or more. To determine these benefits, take the average weekly payment you’ve received out of 52 weeks of pay and multiplying that by six. If you haven’t been in your job for a year, add up your pay for the number of weeks you’ve worked, and then divide that sum by the number of weeks. When you multiply that answer by six, you’ll see a fair estimate of your weekly compensation.
  • Partial Incapacity Benefits: If you can still work but your doctor has not cleared you back for full duty, you may receive partial benefits for a maximum of 260 weeks, or 520 weeks if the damage is severe enough. Partial incapacity payments are equal to 60% of the difference between your regular earning capacity and what you are capable of earning while partially disabled, with the maximum compensation being 75%. To determine partial disability benefits, develop an average of your previous earning capacity and your current earning capacity. Multiply that average by six.
  • Permanent and Total Incapacity Benefits: If your injuries are both total and permanent, you will get 2/3rds of your average weekly wage based on the 52 weeks prior to your injury for the duration of your inability to work.
  • Permanent Loss of Function or Disfigurement Benefits: If a work injury leaves permanent loss of a body function or scarring, you can receive a one time payment in addition to other regular payments for medical expenses and lost wages. Additional compensation is awarded if scarring or permanent marks are on your face, hands, or neck. Contact your insurance provider for specific benefit calculations.

In some cases, insurers may stop paying you while you’re still recovering from your injury or illness. They may do so if you don’t adhere to your doctor’s recommendations, if you fail to show up for treatment or rehabilitation, or if you’re convicted of a criminal charge while receiving benefits. However, if your insurer unfairly reduces or ceases your payments, you may want to consider talking to a workers’ compensation attorney.

Third Party Claims

Under Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws, your employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job. In return however, as a worker you are barred from seeking any legal recourse against your employer. Therefore, if workers’ compensation benefits do not fairly compensate you for your losses, you may look to file an injury claim against a third party who was also responsible for your injury, such as a sub-contractor or the manufacturer of a product or tool required for your employment. The laws governing who you may sue outside of a workers’ compensation claim are complex, so speak with an attorney to ensure that you are able to maximize your fair compensation.

Contact Our Team Today

If you have been injured in a work-related accident or have developed an illness or disease in connection with your employment, call Sweeney Merrigan Law for a free consultation and assessment of your claim. Our knowledgeable Boston workers’ compensation lawyers will answer your questions and help you obtain the benefits that you are entitled to under the law.