Each day, millions of Bay Staters go to work to provide for their families and save for the future. No one expects to suffer an injury on the job, yet thousands are injured each year, left with temporary or permanent disabilities. With costly medical expenses and lost wages, an injured worker may end up in a financial pinch that adds to an already stressful situation.
When you suffer a work injury, you may be eligible for work comp benefits. If you qualify, the amount you receive can help cover a portion of your lost earnings, medical costs, and rehabilitation expenses while you recover.
The team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is familiar with the workers’ compensation laws in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and can help you navigate your way through the complex legal world. If you have questions about your workplace injury, don’t hesitate to call us for reliable advice you can trust.
Schedule your free initial consultation with one of our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers today. Don’t worry, There’s No Obligation, Just Information®!
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system was established to protect both an injured employee and his or her employer should there be a workplace accident. The aim is to minimize compensation delays for injured workers and reduce liability for employers.
This means that if your claim is approved, generally you will not have to wait a long period of time to receive work comp for your injuries. Meanwhile, you have this avenue of getting the money you need without suing your employer.
By law, all employers operating in Massachusetts must have work comp insurance for their employees. You can’t sue your employer under the workers’ comp policy, but it does enable you to seek compensation for your injuries regardless of who was at fault – even if it was you.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation law can be a complicated matter, especially when a claim is challenged by an insurer or employer. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, about half of work comp cases are disputed.
If a workers’ compensation insurer disputes your claim, it can lead to a delay or refusal of your benefits. This can leave you and your family with unpaid bills and hinder your recovery.
If this is true in your case, we strongly advise you to hire an attorney to help you with your appeal. The dispute resolution process is extremely complex and isn’t something you want to do on your own.
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can review your case details to determine what options are available to you and explain the steps you need to take to move forward. Although you may hesitate to hire a lawyer or go to court, you may have to do this if you wish to recover your losses.
Having one of our experienced Massachusetts attorneys on your side can give you the confidence that comes from knowing you have quality representation in your time of need.
Our law firm always puts the needs of our clients first, seeking the best possible outcome for your case. When you hire us, we are dedicated to recovering the maximum compensation available to you. Contact us for a free case evaluation to see what we can do for you.
Common Causes of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses in Massachusetts
Workplace hazards and dangerous conditions can cause serious injuries or illnesses for employees. According to the Massachusetts Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report, 2019 saw approximately 86,000 work-related injuries and illnesses reported by employers in both the public and private sectors of the workforce.
Common causes of workplace accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Construction accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Transportation incidents
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Fires and explosions
- Farming or agricultural accidents
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Exposure to dangerous environments
- Workplace violence
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Either in the public or private sector, a workplace accident can occur anywhere at any time. Injuries or illnesses can vary from cuts and bruises to permanent disability. An injured worker may be able to claim compensation if he or she can prove the condition was caused by a work-related accident.
Some common work-related injuries that might be eligible for work comp include:
- Back injuries
- Hernias brought on by overexertion
- Infectious diseases spread at work
- Sprains, strains, or tears
- Burn injuries (thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiation burns)
- Bruises or contusions
- Cuts, lacerations, or punctures
- Broken or fractured bones
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Multiple traumatic injuries
- Injuries causing death
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are different types of benefits for work comp. Eligibility depends on the circumstances of your injuries and the impact they have placed on your life. Workers’ comp benefits can get you the medical treatment you need, cover your hospital expenses, and help you move on with your life.
Below is a description of workers’ compensation benefits available for an eligible injured worker:
Medical benefits: You can claim medical expenses, prescription costs, and mileage reimbursement for travel to and from your medical visits for as long as medical services are required due to your injury or illness.
Temporary total disability benefits: If you are unable to work for 6 or more full or partial calendar days, you can receive 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage of the 52 weeks prior to your injury date.
Temporary partial disability benefits: If you are able to work to some extent but your injury has caused you to earn less, you can claim a maximum weekly benefit of 75 percent of your weekly total temporary benefits.
Permanent and total incapacity benefits: If you are permanently unable to do any kind of work as a result of your injury or illness, you can claim 66 percent of your gross average weekly income as lost wages. You may also apply for an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).
Vocational rehabilitation: When you are medically stable, you can apply for vocational rehabilitation to help you get you back to work in the quickest and most cost-effective way.
Scarring and permanent loss of function and disfigurement: You may receive a one-time payment for permanent loss of certain specific bodily functions, scarring, or disfigurement on your face, neck, or hands. The compensation amount will be calculated according to the severity and location of the disfigurement.
Death benefits cover: Sadly, some occupational injuries and illnesses can lead to death. If you are the spouse or dependent of a worker who died of workplace accident injuries, you may be eligible for financial benefits:
- Burial costs which may be up to 8 times the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) at the time of death
- Surviving spouses can receive weekly benefits equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, up to the commonwealth’s maximum limit
- Surviving spouses become eligible for yearly cost-of-living adjustments 2 years after the date of the injury or illness
- If the surviving spouse remarries, $60 a week is paid to each eligible child
Consult with one of our attorneys to find out what benefits you are eligible for and how you can make a claim.
Who Can Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all employees to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. According to Massachusetts law (MGL c. 152, § 1(4)), an employee is defined as “every person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written.”
Types of workers who qualify for workers’ compensation can include:
- Full- and part-time workers
- Employed family members of the business owners
- Seasonal workers
- Undocumented workers
- Volunteers or unpaid employees
- Cash paid workers
Nevertheless, there are some exceptions to the rule. And, when disputes arise regarding the legality of an “employee,” the situation can become complicated. So if you are concerned about your eligibility, talk to one of our personal injury lawyers for a clear explanation of your rights.
Time Restrictions for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims in Massachusetts
There are strict time limits for filing workers’ compensation claims in Massachusetts. These time limits can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Generally, the clock starts when you become aware of a connection between your injury or illness and your employment.
Failing to submit the necessary paperwork within the required time frame will most likely result in your case being rejected. If this occurs, you will be prohibited from recovering any compensation for your injuries.
We don’t want this to happen to you. Ensure your documentation is filed on time by enlisting the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle your case.
The Massachusetts attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can review your case details, explain your rights, and let you know what the step-by-step process is. Fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Good documentation of your work-related injury or illness is essential to build a strong case. It is crucial that you report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Employers are required to submit an injury report and notify the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) but have limited time to do so.
Required documents to file a work comp claim
You are required to provide the following information to file a workers’ compensation claim:
- The date of injury, illness, or death if a dependent is filing for benefits
- The 1st calendar day of work you missed after the incident
- The 5th calendar day of work you missed after the incident
- The body parts that were injured
- The types of injuries you sustained
- How long you may be out of work (if known)
- Where you first sought treatment
- Your current treating doctor
Supporting documents to build a strong case
The more evidence you can provide, the better. Our qualified lawyers can help you gather the necessary proof to establish when the accident occurred and how it led to your injuries or illness. Your medical records are essential when determining what benefits you are eligible for, how much you can collect, and for how long.
Documentation that will support your claim can include the following:
- Receipts related to your injury
- Unpaid medical bills
- Medical reports
- Evidence that supports how the accident happened
- Workplace incident reports
- Witness names and statements
Workplace Injury Caused by Negligent Actions of a Third Party
If you believe that your injuries were a direct result of the careless or negligent actions of a third party other than your employer, you may be able to seek additional compensation through a third-party liability claim.
To pursue full compensation for a third-party liability claim based on negligence, the following 4 elements must be established:
- Duty: The third party owed you a duty of care
- Breach: The third party breached that duty
- Causation: That party’s negligent actions caused your personal injury
- Damages: You suffered monetary losses due to your injuries
Massachusetts law allows an injured worker to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a third party based on negligence, outside of your workers’ compensation claim. Our team of qualified personal injury lawyers can review your case details to determine whether you have a solid foundation for filing a third-party liability claim.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost in Massachusetts?
We are the only law firm to offer the Stone Cold Guarantee®, a set of 10 promises that we make to each and every client. This means that when you hire one of our Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys, you don’t owe us anything unless we successfully win your case and recover financial compensation for you. We get paid only when you get paid.
Our law firm offers all Bay Staters a free initial consultation to help you understand your rights and explain what legal options are available. Our team is willing to adjust to whatever medium of consultation you prefer.
Talk to Us for Reliable Advice on Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has experience as a firm since 2004, helping many clients recover the maximum compensation available for their personal injuries over the years. Why not come talk to us to find out what we can do for you?
If you or a family member has suffered a workplace injury, Better Phone Stone®. Our workers’ compensation lawyers can help you file a strong claim so you can get the compensation you need as quickly as possible.
Our firm provides quality legal representation for Massachusetts residents. Our team is standing by to answer your questions and guide you through each step of the workers’ compensation process. When you hire us, we work hard to provide solutions to help you get back on your feet and move on with your life.
Call 800-577-5188 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation. Whether it is by phone, video call, or in person, our workers’ compensation lawyers are here to listen and ready to help you with your workplace injury case.