Every year, hundreds of Massachusetts employees suffer job-related injuries. While most of these employees work in heavy equipment and machinery environments, job injuries can happen in any line of work.
When an employee is hurt while on the clock, they will be left thinking about their injuries, how they will provide for their loved ones without working, and if they qualify for benefits. The Middleborough workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Robert C. Shea can help you understand the available benefits, the statute of limitations, and other deadlines and navigate the workers’ compensation claims process.
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What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the benefits awarded to employees who get hurt while on the clock. No matter who was at fault, injured employees can recover benefits for medical expenses, wage loss, etc., through workers’ compensation insurance.
What Steps Should an Employee Take After Getting Hurt in a Workplace Accident?
Here are the actions you should take after being injured on the job:
1. Inform your supervisor or employer: Notify your manager, supervisor, or employer once you suffer a workplace injury.
2. See a doctor as you can: Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter.
3. Make notes about your job-related injuries and keep them safe: Remember to include the date, chain of events, and witness information.
4. Take pictures and videos of your job-related injuries to serve as proof.
5. Retain a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer to evaluate your claim and file it on your behalf.
6. Rest and recuperate as a workers’ compensation attorney handles your claim.
Which Job-Related Accidents Occur Most?
Some job environments pose little threat of injury to their employees than others. But anyone can be injured at work. These are typical injuries:
Slip and Falls
Slip and falls in the workplace account for many injuries suffered by employees in Massachusetts.
Construction site workers are prone to injuries related to construction site accidents like electrocution, being hit by falling objects, falls, etc.
Falls From Heights
Employees whose jobs entail working on elevated surfaces like roofs often get hurt when they fall from heights.
Back/Neck Injuries are common in many workplaces and may keep employees off work for more extended periods.
Hearing loss is a workplace injury caused by constant high exposure to noise pollution.
Employees whose job entails being on the road may suffer injuries if they get into an accident.
Injuries from electrocution are common in the construction industry, where workers have to work near power lines or exposed electrical cables.
Workers who work with and around heat like chefs and cooks tend to suffer burns injuries.
Working with tools or machinery often causes workplace injuries. Accidents that tear off limbs are common in workplaces that use heavy machinery and equipment.
Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer for your Middleborough workers’ compensation claim is a wise move. Here is why:
Case Preparation/Filing Claim
An attorney will help build a solid case through investigations to determine liability and establish who to file a claim against.
Since lawyers are experienced negotiators, they can handle negotiations with the insurance carrier to recover total benefits for you. A lawyer will also know how to counter an exploitative or unfair settlement.
Lawyers understand legal matters more than you could ever wish to. At the Law Office of Robert C. Shea, we the expertise to represent you in court if your case proceeds to trial.
Appealing Unfair Settlement or Denied Claim
If you are awarded inadequately or feel that your claim was unfairly denied, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help.
How Much Does a Middleborough Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Our workers’ compensation lawyers work on contingency, meaning we will collect a percentage of your compensation award if we manage to win your case. There are no upfront fees. The initial consultation is free.
What Should I Do if My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
After insurance sends you an insurer’s notification of denial form, you are required to file form 110 (employee claim) with the medical records regarding your injuries attached and send it to the insurance carrier and Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. At this stage, having an attorney will be vital.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
Here are the responsibilities of injured workers in filing a workers’ comp claim:
- Report your injuries to their supervisor, manager, or employee as soon as possible or within 30 days.
- Accept reasonable treatment as mandated by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
- If you remarry, relocate or change your address, notify the employer or insurance company.
- Notify the employer or insurer when you are ready to work part-time or full-time, along with your weekly earnings.
- Attempt work that has passed the approval of the authorized workers’ compensation doctor.
- File a claim within a year after the latest appointment with the assigned WC doctor or before the end of two years after your latest payment of weekly benefits.
- If requested to take a drug test, agree or provide justifiable cause to refuse.
- Employees must tell the truth throughout the claims process or risk being criminally charged.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
Employers are responsible for the following:
- Employers are required to file the first report of injury and send it to the assigned WC doctor and the insurance carrier.
- Employers are required to cooperate during investigations and submit the requested documents.
- Employers are responsible for recalling employees to resume work once they are ready.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming a Workers Comp Claim?
No. Massachusetts law protects employees from workplace discrimination and bars employers from retaliating against workers who file workers’ compensation claims.
Is There a Deadline for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, the timeframe for filing a workers’ compensation claim is four years from the date the employee discovered the relationship between their job and their injury or disability.
Can I Sue My Employer?
No. The law bars employees from taking legal action against their employers after sustaining workplace injuries. However, they can recover benefits through the workers’ compensation system.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Since Massachusetts laws don’t require employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to independent contractors, they are not eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.
What Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
Injured employees in Massachusetts are entitled to specific workers’ compensation benefits. Your Middleborough Workers’ compensation will pay for:
- Your medical expenses. (with the assigned WC doctor)
- Prescription medication.
- Rehabilitation costs.
- Your lost wages or income. You will receive two-thirds of what you averagely make in a week.
- Any travel expenses associated with your injuries.
- The permanent injuries partially impair your ability to work (Permanent Partial Disability) benefits for as long as you are disabled.
Contact a Middleborough Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
It can be devastating to be off work because of a job-related injury. As if the pain and suffering from the injuries are not enough, you may be having financial issues because of missed workdays. Working with a Middleborough workers’ compensation lawyer from the Law Office of Robert C. Shea can help you recover deserved benefits for your workplace injury or illness.
We represent workers in Middleborough and throughout Massachusetts in workers’ compensation cases.
Call 508-506-5681 today to arrange a free initial consultation with our Middleborough workers’ compensation attorneys.