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