Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Accidents happen on the job every day. Negligence, carelessness, and broken OSHA codes often contribute to these accidents – and employees suffer the consequences. Severe, life-altering injuries often arise from these events, and many workers die as a result of these injuries. If you work in Massachusetts and suffer an accident on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

If you need a Boston worker’s compensation lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim, contact the attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP today. Our personal injury attorneys have significant experience representing clients injured on the job, securing settlements and allowing clients time to recover.

  • Our firm operates on a contingency-fee basis. We will not collect any legal fees unless we secure a settlement on your behalf.
  • Our attorneys have significant experience in multiple practice areas of personal injury law and have secured over $30 million for our clients.
  • Our attorneys have the resources, negotiation skills, and a network of experts necessary to enter into discussions with your employer and workers’ compensation insurance company. We are not afraid to bring a claim to trial if we think it is necessary to secure maximum compensation.

Benefits That Massachusetts Employees Can Receive

Workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts cover many potential losses, including a percentage of lost income and medical expenses. Insurer’s award benefits based on several factors, including the severity of the injury and caps set by the state.

Workers’ compensation benefits use the degree of the injury to determine the amount of lost income to provide to an injured employee:

  • Permanent total disability: provides two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage if the worker is permanently unable to return to work.
  • Temporary total disability: provides up to 60% of the worker’s average weekly wage for up to three years if the worker cannot work for more than three days.
  • Partial disability: provides up to 60% of the difference between the worker’s average weekly wage before the injury and his or her potential earnings after the injury. The insurance company will provide this benefit for up to five years if a worker can return to work but is unable to return to his or her old job to the injury.

Other possible compensation benefits include:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical expenses
  • Loss of function
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Funeral and burial expenses, if fatal
  • Compensation for dependents

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 a Boston workers’ compensation 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.

employee injured at work

Workers’ Compensation Laws in Massachusetts

An employee who suffers a work-related injury or develops a work-related illness may be eligible for workers’ compensation to cover the costs of his or her condition. All Massachusetts employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage to all of their employees, including documented and undocumented workers.

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, the injury or illness in question must last more than five calendar days. The days do not have to be consecutive in order for a worker to receive coverage. Despite the state requirements, obtaining benefits for work-related injuries can be a complicated process. The employee will have to prove that the condition developed at work, and insurance companies and employers may deny the claim for lack of evidence.

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. A Boston workers’ compensation 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 a 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 Boston 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 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.

Why You Need an Attorney for Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Negotiating a fair settlement for your workers’ compensation case can be difficult, especially if companies deny your claim for lack of evidence. You need to provide solid proof that your work caused your injuries so that you can receive the benefits you need to recover.

A workers’ compensation attorney has access to the resources and medical experts necessary to build a compelling case in your favor. An attorney can also conduct a full-scale investigation into the circumstances of your case, gathering evidence such as security footage, witness testimony, and medical records.

Do you need a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim? Sweeney Merrigan can help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at our Boston, Greenfield, or Falmouth offices.


 

Commonly Asked Questions