With all the snow and freezing temperatures we have had here in Massachusetts recently, many snow removal employees put in long days and nights working to plow, shovel and remove/treat snow and ice. These men and women work tirelessly to make the roads, parking lots and walkways safe for others. Some, however, end up getting injured themselves in the process. Plow truck drivers can be injured in a motor vehicle crash, shoveling can injure your back and neck and a slip and fall on ice can cause a wide variety of injuries including broken bones.
Being injured on the job can be extremely nerve-racking. Not only does a serious injury impact your overall life, it also adds significant stress. The stress comes from the medical bills piling up, the time out of work and losing wages and the frustration of dealing with the pain and discomfort of your injury. Many workers have families to support and bills to pay. If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation and additional compensation from a potential third party negligence claim.
Benefits from Workers’ Compensation
Most employers in Massachusetts are required by the Workers’ Compensation Act to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. This insurance policy affords certain benefits to injured workers when they are hurt in the course of their employment.
Two very important benefits for injured workers are: disability benefits and medical benefits. Disability benefits are available to workers who have been hurt on the job and cannot work because of their injuries. These benefits replace a portion of the wages the injured employee loses because of their work injury. These benefits are weekly payments to the injured worker and are based upon the employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the work accident.
Medical benefits are available to pay the cost and expense of the medical treatment for the work related injury. Basically, the medical benefits will cover all the bills for related, reasonable and medically necessary treatment of an employee’s injuries. This would include any bills incurred for an ambulance ride, emergency room visit, x-rays and even medications.
If you are injured on the job, don’t forget to follow the Three Important Steps to Take After a Work Accident. Following these three steps will put you in a much better position to receive workers’ compensation benefits in a timely manner rather than having to fight and wait for them.
Don’t Forget - Some Work Accidents Involve Two Separate Injury Claims
A lot of times a work related injury results in not only a workers’ compensation claim, but also a third party negligence claim. If you are hurt at work, you will have a workers’ compensation claim. If your injury occurred on the job, but was caused by a third party (someone other than your employer) then you may have a third party negligence claim too.
For example, if a plow truck driver in Framingham, MA is working during a snow storm plowing snow and is injured in a motor vehicle crash when he is struck by negligent driver, he would have a workers compensation claim for benefits as well as a third party personal injury claim against the negligent motorist that caused the accident.
A third party negligence claim will seek financial compensation for damages that are not available from workers’ compensation. An injured employee cannot sue or seek pain and suffering damages from their employer or the workers compensation insurance company. But, that injured employee, like the plow truck driver above, can seek compensation for pain and suffering in the third party negligence claim.
Find Out if You Have a Third Party Claim
If you have been injured on the job you may have more than just a workers’ compensation claim. Accidents that cause serious injuries require an experienced attorney to examine your situation and identify the third party case. In order to recover maximum compensation you must successfully litigate your case and then deal with the lien. This is why you should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
In order to find out if you have a third party claim, feel free to contact Attorney Charles S. Pappas. I will evaluate your case, explain your legal options and answer all of your questions. Please call (508) 879-3500 or fill out the online contact form.