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.   

  • 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 Still Get Workers’ Compensation if my Injury is From Repetitive Use and Not a Specific Accident?

    The short answer is yes, but each case must be analyzed on their own specific facts and circumstances. The purpose of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act is to provide injured employees certain benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages (disability benefits) and to cover the medical costs and expenses of their treatment (medical benefits). These benefits are available to workers, who were injured on the job regardless of fault.

    The injury an employee suffers does not necessarily need to be from a specific or identifiable incident or accident. In Massachusetts, “personal injury” for a workers’ compensation case includes injury to the body itself. This means that workers’ compensation benefits are still available for employees in Massachusetts whose injury or injuries occur over time from repetitive use (a/k/a wear-and-tear). The injury and symptoms, however, must arise out of the employee’s work activities and a doctor must causally relate the injury to work.

    For Example: We had a 55 year old gentleman that was working in a cardboard factory. For years he worked on the floor of the warehouse and was required to lift heavy packs of cardboard over his head and into a special machine. Over time this employee noticed that his shoulder began hurt and continued to get worse with every day at work. One day the pain got so bad he reported it to his supervisor and saw a doctor. He was later diagnosed with a partial tear of his rotator cuff tendon and a shoulder impingement. His doctor provided an opinion that these injuries developed over time at work. We were able to get this injured worker the workers’ compensation benefits he deserved even though his injuries did not occur from a specific accident.

    Now keep in mind that the workers’ compensation insurance companies will sometimes deny claims that involve wear-and-tear or repetitive use injuries. They often argue that they are not work related and may have happened somewhere else. If this happens to you, don’t get upset. You still have the right to file a claim for benefits.

    Have you Been Hurt on the Job in Massachusetts?

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

  • How Long Do I Have To Be Employed Before I Am Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

    In Massachusetts, a worker does not need to be employed for any specific period of time before he or she is covered by workers’ compensation for an injury suffered in a work related accident. An employee is covered and protected by workers’ compensation insurance at the moment he or she is hired.

    For example:  Our office represented a young man who was injured on his first day at work. This client accidentally cut his hand with a retractable utility knife. The laceration required five sutures to close the wound. While the injury wasn’t serious enough to keep this new employee out of work, he did incur over $2,000 in medical bills. Because he was employed (even for just one day) and the accident occurred in the course of his employment, he was entitled to workers’ compensation. All of the medical bills were covered by the workers’ compensation medical benefits. Additionally, we were able to secure a significant amount of money for this young man for the scarring that resulted on his hand from this accident.

    Have you Been Hurt on the Job in Massachusetts?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured on the job in Massachusetts you most likely have many questions. Feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. You should take the time to speak with our legal team so we can evaluate your case for free. It just might be the best decision you make. 

  • Can I still collect workers’ compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?

    Yes. In Massachusetts, the Workers’ Compensation Act is a “no fault” system that is in place to make sure that workers are covered and protected by insurance in case they are injured on the job. Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits are referred to as “no fault” benefits because, regardless of whose fault the accident was that caused the employee’s injuries, the injured worker is still entitled to workers’ compensation. This is true even if the injured worker caused the accident himself or herself.

    For example, we previously represented a roofer, who fell approximately 15 feet from a ladder and injured his leg. Although the fall from the ladder was completely the employee’s fault, he was still entitled to and did collect workers’ compensation for his injuries. In another case, a personal care attendant (PCA) was driving a patient to the store and failed to pay proper attention to traffic and rear-ended the car in front of him. The PCA was injured and, even though the accident was his fault, he was still able to collect workers’ compensation.   

    Now, don’t confuse this with a personal injury case (i.e., motor vehicle accident or slip and fall). In those cases, the injured person must establish that the other driver, property owner or other third party was negligent and that their negligence caused the injuries. If you were injured while in the course of your employment you can collect workers’ compensation, even if you were at fault.

    Have You Been Injured on the Job in Massachusetts and Unsure Whether You Can Collect Workers’ Compensation?

    If you have been injured while in the course of your employment in Massachusetts and are unsure whether you can collect workers’ compensation or have questions about your rights, please call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to set up a time to speak with our legal team. We will take the time to evaluate your case and answer your questions. This meeting is free and might be the best decision you make.

     

  • What can I do if I am denied workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts?

    If you are injured on the job in a work accident and the injury prevents you from working, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier has the option of voluntarily paying you disability benefits or denying the claim. In some situations, the workers’ compensation insurer will deny a claim or the employee may never receive any notice from the insurer or his or her employer.

    If an injured worker receives a denial from the workers’ compensation insurer then the injured employee can take legal action and file an Employee's Claim for benefits. If the injured worker never hears from or receives any documentation from his or her employer or workers’ compensation insurer, then after the expiration of thirty days from the injury, the employee can file the Employee’s Claim for benefits.

    The Form 110 Employee’s Claim is the document that must be prepared and filed with the Department of Industrial Accidents in Massachusetts along with medical or other documentation establishing the causal relationship between the injury and work accident and medical evidence that the employee’s injury renders him disabled and unable to work.  

    When the employee files a claim, he or she is taking court action to have a judge force or order the workers’ compensation insurance company to pay disability benefits and medical benefits.  

    Have You Been Injured on the Job in Massachusetts?

    If you have been injured in a work related accident in Massachusetts and have questions about your rights, please call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to set up a time to speak with our legal team so we can evaluate your case and answer your questions. This meeting is free and might be the best decision you make.

  • I was hurt on the job and have to go to many doctor's appointments. Can I be reimbursed for mileage?

    Yes.  If you were hurt on the job and your injury requires medical attention, then the workers’ compensation laws in Massachusetts require the insurer to reimburse the employee for travel to and from doctors’ appointments. It is part of the medical benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance coverage that provides that injured workers be entitled to reimbursement for all out-of-pocket medical expenses, including reimbursement for travel. The reimbursement includes mileage, parking and tolls. The current rate of mileage reimbursement is $0.45 per mile. 

    The insurance companies usually have a form that they want completed that establishes the starting point and ending point of travel. Typically, injured workers will use a website for map or directions (such as Google Maps or MapQuest) to determine the miles between the employee’s home and the doctor he or she is visiting. Also, injured workers should get and keep receipts for parking so they can be reimbursed for such expenses. 

    Have You Been Injured on the Job in Massachusetts?

    If you have been injured in a work related accident in Massachusetts and have questions about your rights, please call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to set up a time to speak with our legal team so we can evaluate your case and answer your questions. This meeting is free and might be the best decision you make.

  • Does my employer have to agree to my Lump Sum Settlement?

    Yes.  An employer must approve a Lump Sum Settlement, with some limited exceptions. If the injured worker and the workers’ compensation insurer reach an agreement to resolve the claim by way of a lump sum settlement, then the proposed settlement will be presented for approval to a judge of the Department of Industrial Accidents at a Lump Sum Conference. Aside from the other required documents to be presented at the Conference, the workers’ compensation insurance company or their attorney will file the Consent of Employer to Lump Sum Settlement, which is a designated form known as Form 116A. 

    Have You Been Hurt in a Work Place Accident in Massachusetts?

    If you have been injured in a work related accident in Massachusetts and have questions about your rights, please call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to set up a time to speak with our legal team so we can evaluate your case and answer your questions. This meeting is free and might be the best decision you make.