Frequent Questions on Workers’ Compensation, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Construction Accidents, and More

We have answered a lot of questions over the years, and want all injury victims to have the benefit of our experience. Browse our FAQ page to find answers on construction accidents, car crashes, work accidents, and wrongful death.

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  • I am collecting workers' compensation and now the insurance company claims they overpaid me. Now what?

    We have received many calls from injured workers about overpayments by the workers’ compensation insurance company. In Massachusetts, when a worker is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Disability benefits are very important to an injured worker whose injury prevents them from working. These weekly disability benefit payments replace a portion of the wages the injured worker is losing because of their work injury. In some situations when the injured worker is collecting weekly disability benefits, the insurance company discovers that they have overpaid the worker. What happens when there was an overpayment by the insurance company?

    The laws in Massachusetts allow the workers’ compensation insurance company to recoup the amount of the overpayment made to the injured employee. If the injured worker is still receiving weekly disability checks, then the insurance company can recoup the overpayment by reducing future weekly checks by no more than 30% until the overpayment has been repaid.  In the event that no future benefits will be paid or are owed to the injured worker, then the insurance company may commence legal action to get their money back.

    If you have been notified of an overpayment by the workers’ compensation insurer, it is best for you to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Massachusetts. First off, an experienced lawyer will protect your legal rights. Also, an injury attorney should be able to confirm whether in fact there has been an overpayment, and if there was, whether the amount claimed by the insurer is accurate.

    Have You Been Hurt on the Job? Call Today to Speak with our Legal Team.

    Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specialize their law practice in helping injured workers in Massachusetts get the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you feel that you are not getting the benefits to which you are entitled, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule a free case review. At the complimentary meeting, we will evaluate your work accident, answer your questions and explain the workers’ compensation process.   

  • Who Pays a Dog Bite Victim a Settlement in a Dog Bite Case?

    Generally, the homeowner’s insurance policy for the dog owner is available to offer coverage for any damages an individual sustained from a dog bite or attack. Many insurance companies, however, have excluded certain breed of dogs from insurance coverage, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. In that situation, or in a situation where the dog owner doesn’t have a homeowner’s insurance policy (such as a renter), the owner of the dog may be subject to personal liability if their dog causes personal injuries to a person.

    This is why it is very important to identify the dog owner. If you do not know who owns the dog that bit you, you may never be able to obtain financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

    Speak to an Experienced Injury Attorney About a Dog Bite Case

    If you or someone you know has been attacked or bitten by a dog you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP have handled numerous dog bite cases and recovered full compensation for our clients injuries and losses.

    Call us today at 508-879-3500 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation. We offer contingent fees on dog bite cases, which means, we don’t earn a legal fee until and unless you recover compensation.

     

  • When Should You Try to Settle Your Massachusetts Accident Case?

    In general, after being hurt in an accident you should not attempt to settle your personal injury case until you have fully recovered from your injuries, were released from your treating physician’s care or you have reached a maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is where the injured person reaches a stage where their medical injury or condition cannot be improved any further, has reached a treatment plateau, and/or their treatment options have been exhausted.

    When you have reached an end point in your treatment then the full extent of your injuries or damages will be ascertainable. In that case, you can determine what your damages are, understand what the value of your personal injury case is and how much to seek for compensation. Otherwise, if you try to settle your case too early (before you finished treatment), you may not receive the full amount of compensation for your injuries. This is because the full extent of your injuries, the required treatment and costs and expenses are not known at that time.

    For Example: We represented a Framingham, MA resident that was injured in a car accident in Worcester, MA. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury in the crash. He was thought by his doctor to have a whip lash injury and treated for quite a while with physical therapy. After a few months he wanted to settle his case because he was frustrated with the lack of progress he was making with his treatment. His doctor, at that time, recommended an MRI of his cervical spine.  The MRI showed a herniated disc that was compressing on the nerve root in his neck. This resulted in thousands of dollars more in medical treatment, which significantly increased the value of his personal injury case.

    As you can see from the example above, trying to settle your injury case too soon may result in much less compensation than waiting until you have determined the full extent of your injuries. But, be mindful of the statute of limitations. This is a deadline where you must file your lawsuit by or settle your case. If not, you will be forever barred from seeking damages for your injuries.

    Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Injury Attorney in Massachusetts

    If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced injury attorney in Massachusetts today. 

    Call Mahaney & Pappas, LLP at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting and case evaluation.

  • How do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case from my Car Accident?

    Some people who are in a car accident are not sure whether they have a personal injury case or not. There are a number of things that must be examined, but the list below is a good start to determining whether you have a personal injury case or not.

    A personal injury case from a car accident is a bodily injury claim for the injuries and losses you suffered in the crash. In the case or claim you will be seeking financial compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered as a result fo the crash.

    In Massachusetts, generally, you would have a personal injury case if:

    1. Obviously, you were in a motor vehicle accident either as a driver or passenger;
    2. You were injured or hurt in the accident;
    3. The driver of the other car or someone else was at fault for causing the accident;
    4. The other driver’s negligence in causing the accident was the cause of your injuries;
    5. You have incurred reasonable and necessary medical expenses in excess of $2,000 or the accident causes death, loss of a body member, results in permanent or serious disfigurement, or results in loss of sight or hearing.

    There are other matters that must be considered, such as whether the other driver’s auto insurance policy applies to the accident. Each case is different and must be evaluated based upon the specific facts and circumstances of each accident. The best way to be certain that you have a personal injury case from a car accident is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.

    Speak With An Experienced Attorney Today

    If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you are not sure whether you have a personal injury claim or not, speak with an experienced injury attorney. Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specializes in personal injury law, including bodily injury claims from car accidents. We have represented numerous people hurt in accidents all over Massachusetts and have the experience and qualifications to help you.

    Call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting and case evaluation. At our meeting we will explain your legal rights and options, evaluate your case and answer all of your questions. 

  • Do I Need to Attend the Office of Education and Vocational Rehabilitation Meeting?

    Yes. The Office of Education and Vocational Rehabilitation (OEVR) is a division of the Department of Industrial Accidents for Massachusetts workers’ compensation cases. The OEVR provides assistance to eligible injured workers to help them return to appropriate gainful employment.

    When an injured employee in Massachusetts receives a letter from OEVR with a date and time to meet with someone at the OEVR, the employee must attend. The laws in Massachusetts provide for certain penalties for employees who fail or refuse to attend the meeting or cooperate in the process. For example, an injured worker who fails to attend the mandatory meeting is not entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits during the time they refuse to cooperate. Also, an employee that has been found suitable for educational or vocational rehabilitation services and thereafter refuses to cooperate will suffer a reduction in their weekly disability compensation checks.

    So, if you receive a letter from OEVR informing you that you need to attend a meeting, you should do so or consult with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney.

    Do You Have Questions About A Work Injury?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured on the job in Massachusetts and you are not sure the employer had workers’ compensation insurance, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. Our legal team will answer your questions and evaluate your case for free. 

  • Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts if my Employer Doesn't Have Insurance Coverage?

    Yes. In Massachusetts an injured worker can still file for and collect workers’ compensation benefits if his or her employer or boss did not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage at the time of the work accident.

    The Workers' Compensation Trust Fund

    If it is discovered that the employer did not have coverage, a claim can still be filed against The Workers' Compensation Trust Fund. This Trust Fund was created by a specific statute in Massachusetts (M.G.L. c. 152 § 65) and is available for employees who were hurt on the job and whose employer did not carry workers’ compensation at the time of the accident. The Trust Fund would stand in the place of the workers’ compensation insurance and provides the same benefits available to an injured worker as if there was insurance.

    The injured worker must still meet the necessary requirements in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from the Trust Fund. (For example, the injured worker must establish that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment.) The workers' compensation claim will proceed in the normal course of a workers' compensation case in Massachusetts.

    There are requirements, however, before filing a workers’ compensation claim against the Trust Fund. A certification of no insurance must be obtained from the Office of Insurance at the Department of Industrial Accidents. This is why it is best to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for advice after being hurt at work.

    Do You Have Questions About A Work Injury?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured on the job in Massachusetts and you are not sure the employer had workers’ compensation insurance, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. Our legal team will answer your questions and evaluate your case for free. 

     

  • Can I Continue to Collect Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts After I am Fired?

    Yes, you can continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts even if you are terminated, released or fired by your employer while on workers compensation. Of course, this is true provided you continue to qualify for workers’ compensation. This means that you remain temporarily disabled, either totally or partially, and/or you require reasonable and necessary medical treatment that is related to your work accident.

    Workers’ Compensation Basics in Massachusetts

    Most workers in Massachusetts are covered by workers’ compensation with a few exceptions. If a worker is injured in a work-related accident, he or she is entitled to benefits from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. The benefits available include disability or incapacity benefits and medical benefits.

    The disability benefits will replace a portion of your lost pay if you are disabled for five or more days. If your work accident causes you to be totally disabled, you can receive 60% of your average weekly wage. If you are only partially disabled and can still work, but cannot earn your average weekly wage before the work accident, you qualify for partial disability. The maximum partial disability you can receive is no more than 75% of your weekly total disability rate.

    The medical benefits will cover the full cost and expenses of reasonable, medically necessary treatment that is related to your work injury. This means that if you are hurt on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy will pay for all of your medical bills and expenses.

    Example of an Employee on Workers’ Compensation that Was Terminated

    We represented a woman who was employed as a certified nursing assistant in Dedham, Massachusetts. While at work one day she was helping a patient maneuver on to a bed. In the process, our client injured her back. She took all recommended steps for her work accident and reported the accident and got medical attention right away. She was diagnosed with a herniated disc in her lumbar spine and was out of work for quite a while. Because of her injury and disability, she collected workers’ compensation benefits for over two years.

    After a year of being out of work, her employer terminated her. When our client received the letter from her employer informing her that she was being released, she was very concerned about losing workers’ compensation. We reassured her that she will continue to receive her workers’ compensation checks even though she was terminated by her employer. Also, worker’ compensation continued to pay for her treatment for her back injury. With bills to pay and children to support, this client was relieved to hear that she will continue to get her disability checks.

    Do You Have Questions About A Work Injury?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured on the job in Massachusetts and you have questions or are confused about what to do, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. We will answer your questions and evaluate your case for free. 

  • Can I Receive Compensation if my Spouse Was Hurt in an Accident?

    Yes. In Massachusetts, if you are married and your spouse was injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can seek and receive compensation for your own damages. This type of claim for compensation is called “loss of consortium”.

    Consortium is the right that a spouse has to certain benefits with his or her spouse. The highest court in Massachusetts (the Supreme Judicial Court) has defined the damages a spouse suffers for loss of consortium as the loss of a spouse's "services, society, affection, companionship, and relations." This right a spouse has to recover compensation for loss of consortium is completely independent of his or her spouse’s negligence claim.

    To better explain loss of consortium, let’s look at an example. We represented a man that was hit by a car as he walked on the sidewalk in Boston, MA. This man was married at the time of the accident. He suffered a broken collar bone, torn rotator cuff and a fractured bone in his foot. He had surgeries to repair his torn rotator cuff and the broken bone in his foot. Due to his injuries, surgeries and recovery, he was quite miserable. This had a significant impact on his relationship with his wife. She explained that ever since the accident her spouse had become distant and less affectionate, which put a strain on their marriage. A personal injury lawsuit was filed against the negligent driver that struck the husband. In the lawsuit, a separate cause of action was also filed against the negligent driver by the wife for her loss of consortium. This case was ultimately settled and the wife received compensation for the damages she suffered for loss of consortium.

    Have You Been Injured in an Accident?

    Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has over 35 years of experience representing accident victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and you are confused or concerned about what to do, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

    We offer complementary initial meetings where we will review your case, answer your questions, and explain your rights and legal options. To speak with someone on our legal team or to schedule your meeting, please call (508) 879-3500 or contact us online

  • Will I Need to Go To Court For My Car Accident Case?

    Before this question is answered we must clarify one thing. When clients ask us this type of question, we usually need to get more specific about what “going to court” really means. When some people say “go to court” they mean whether or not they will actually need to go to the court and testify. Others use it to describe whether a lawsuit will need to be filed. Either way, the short answer to this frequently asked question is “No”. But, each accident case is different.

    Most personal injury claims from motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts are settled with the auto insurance company before you ever need to file a lawsuit or go to court. In other accidents, there may be issues that may result in the injured party needing to file a lawsuit and possibly go to court.

    There are a number of different factors in each accident case that will determine whether you need to go to court or not. It is probably better explained by way of examples:

    Example 1: We recently represented a young woman, who suffered a neck and back injury in a car crash in Medway, MA. This client was stopped at a red light and was rear-ended by another car. Our client suffered a bulged disc in her cervical spine (neck) and a herniated disc in her lumbar spine (lower back). Because liability was reasonably clear (i.e., the other driver was clearly at fault and his auto insurance company accepted that he was negligent) we were able to settle this personal injury claim without the need to file a lawsuit or ever go to court.

    Example 2: In another case, however, our client was driving in Newton, MA and as he proceeded through an intersection, another car took a left hand turn directly in front of him. Our client ended up colliding with the other car and suffered a fractured arm in the accident. The other driver’s auto insurance company denied liability and argued that our client was at fault for causing the accident. In this situation, we needed to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Following the discovery process of a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit, evidence was obtained that supported our client’s version of how the accident happened and we were able to settle the case before our client ever needed to go to court. So, in this example, we needed to file a lawsuit, but our client did not need to actually go to court to testify at a trial.

    As you can see, there are different scenarios that will dictate whether you will need to go to court or not in order to resolve your personal injury claim. In order to be certain whether you will need to file a lawsuit or go to court, you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts accident attorney.

    Speak With An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

    If you have been hurt in an accident in Massachusetts and you are not sure whether you will need to go to court or not, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. This will get you answers to your questions, general information about accident cases and advice on the appropriate and necessary legal steps to take.

    At Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we offer complementary initial meetings where we will review your case, answer your questions, and explain your rights and legal options. To speak with someone on our legal team or to schedule your meeting, please call (508) 879-3500 or contact us online

  • I was hurt in an accident, but I’m not sure if I have a case? What do I do?

    Many times when people are injured in an accident in Massachusetts they are not sure whether they have a case or not. If you are not sure, you should get in contact with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most lawyers offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose to pick up the phone and speak with an accident attorney. So, even if you do not have a case, it will cost you nothing to consult with an attorney.

    Regardless of whether your injury was suffered in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall or a work-related accident, getting an expert legal opinion or advice is highly recommended. Getting an expert evaluation of your accident case will protect your rights, especially where there are many deadlines for personal injury cases and workers’ compensation cases. Also, if you do have a valid legal claim or case, an experienced injury lawyer in Massachusetts will be able to advise you on what steps to take and the many pitfalls to avoid for your claim or case.

    Here at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we are happy to speak with you for free to give you a professional evaluation of your specific situation and injury. For additional information about the process of what happens when you contact our office about an accident case, please check out: An Overview of the Process of Hiring Mahaney & Pappas, LLP for Your Personal Injury Case

    Speak With An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

    If you have been hurt in an accident in Massachusetts, find out if you have a case. Speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer will get you answers to your questions, information about accident cases and advice on the appropriate and necessary legal steps to take.

    At Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we offer complementary initial meetings where we will review your case, answer your questions, and explain your rights and legal options. To speak with someone on our legal team or to schedule your meeting, please call (508) 879-3500 or contact us online


    Don’t forget, for answers to many questions and great information on how to get the best possible settlement in your accident case, get a copy of our book: You Were in a Car Accident: How to Maximize Your Settlement. This book will provide you with information to help maximize your accident settlement. Best of all, it’s free