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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  • 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. 

  • What Should I Bring to my Meeting with A Personal Injury Lawyer?

    If you were injured in an accident in Massachusetts, you may have the right to financial compensation. That right to compensation depends on a number of different factors. That’s where a personal injury lawyer comes into play. So, you’ve done your research for the right personal injury attorney. You called and scheduled an appointment to meet with the lawyer. You are probably wondering at that point “What do I need to bring with me?”

    When you meet with a lawyer for the first time about your accident you should bring whatever documents or evidence you have related to the accident and your injuries. Remember, at the initial meeting with an accident attorney, he or she will be assessing your case. Here is a brief list of certain items that will be very helpful to a thorough evaluation of your case:

    • Copies of any police reports, motor vehicle crash reports, accident reports or any other incident reports that may explain how the accident occurred and who the involved parties and witnesses are.
    • Photographs and videos are extremely helpful in accident cases. These items will help you and your lawyer examine where and how the accident happened. Pictures of your injuries are also helpful.
    • In motor vehicle accidents, you should bring your car insurance information, such as your Personal Auto Coverage Selection Page. The Coverage Selection Page shows the coverages you have and is issued by your auto insurance company. This will be helpful in determining additional insurance coverage, such as Uninsured or Underinsured coverage, in the event the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages.
    • Your health insurance information is helpful in certain accident cases. For instance, your health insurance will determine how much PIP coverage you are entitled to.
    • Hospital, doctor or other health care documents and/or reports will enable the lawyer to determine the extent of your injury and needed treatment.

    While this is just a summary of certain documents that will be helpful to an evaluation of your accident case, you should bring any other items you feel may assist the attorney in getting a complete understanding of your case.

    Get Expert Legal Advice On Accident Cases

    If you have been injured in an accident in Massachusetts, you should speak with an experienced injury attorney. Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has extensive experience helping people get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We offer free meetings to evaluate your case. For additional information about a specific accident or case or to schedule a time to meet with us, please call (508) 879-3500 or contact us online.   

  • Is the information I provide my personal injury attorney confidential?

    Yes. If you retain or hire our office to represent you in any type of accident or injury case, the information you share with us is protected by the attorney-client privilege. This special and sacred privilege between an attorney and his/her client protects communications between the two from disclosure. The Massachusetts Rules provide that: “A lawyer shall not reveal confidential information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent…” It has been further explained by the Massachusetts Courts that “A fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that…the lawyer must not reveal confidential information relating to the representation.”  

    Knowing that the communications between yourself and your attorney is confidential and privileged, it is important to be honest and forthcoming with your attorney about certain facts that may be relevant to your personal injury case. One such fact pertains to prior injuries. It is important for an injury victim to share information about prior injuries so that we can fully evaluate your case. It is also important so we are not taken by surprise by the insurance company or defense and can prepare and strategize how to handle prior injuries.

    Have you Been Injured in a an Accident in Massachusetts?

    If you have been injured in an accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You may have many questions like the one above. If so, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary meeting and case evaluation. We will explain your legal rights, what you are entitled to and how we can best help you. 

  • Should I Release my Medical Records to the Other Ins Co?

    After a motor vehicle accident you can count on the other driver's insurance company calling you and mailing you documents to sign and return. One of the documents will be an Authorization to Release your Medical Records. A question we hear often is: "Should I sign the Medical Records Release that the insurance company mailed me?" The simple answer is NO.

    The other driver's insurance company will, without question, try to contact you soon after the accident. They will call you in order to try and get a statement from you. They will also mail you letters with documents, including a Medical Records Release or Authorization to Release Medical Records, for you to sign and return to them. They do this quickly after an accident in hopes of getting the injured party to give them a statement and sign the Release before he or she speaks with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Why? Because they know that if you speak with a qualified and experienced accident attorney first, you will be advised not sign and return the Release and not to give the other driver's insurance company a statement

    The reason they want you to sign the Release is so they can obtain all your past medical records. A Release with no time limitations will allow the other driver's insurance company to obtain any and all of your medical records. They do this so they can dig into your private life for evidence of similar injuries or complaints to downplay the extent of the injuries sustained from the car accident or claim that the injuries you suffered in the accident were pre-existing. With prior medical records, they hope to create an issue with regard to your injuries in order to offer you less money in the end and save money for their insurance company.  

    Have you Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Massachusetts?

    If you have suffered injuries in an auto accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You probably have many questions like the one above. If so, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary meeting and case evaluation. We will explain to you what your legal rights are and how we can best help you. 

  • 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 is Arbitration?

    Arbitration is a form of “alternative dispute resolution”, which offers parties to a personal injury case or accident case an alternative way of resolving their case. It’s an alternative to a trial. In most situations an arbitration can be an efficient and cost effective method of resolving a case.  Rather than going through a prolonged trial with the uncertainty of a jury or judge, the parties can agree to arbitrate their case.

    There are three important aspects of arbitration that should always be considered.  One, both sides have to agree to arbitrate the case; Two, the parties must agree on which arbitrator(s) will be used; and Three, and most importantly, the arbitrator’s decision is final.

    Arbitration is a great way to resolve a personal injury case, but may not be appropriate for all cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer should be consulted before making a decision to arbitrate.

    Have You Been Injured in an Accident in Massachusetts?

    If you have suffered injuries in an accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You most likely have many questions about your legal rights and options. If so, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary meeting and case evaluation. We will explain what your legal rights are and how we can best help you. 

  • What is Mediation?

    Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution for legal claims and cases. It is a voluntary process that parties to a legal dispute can agree to in an attempt to resolve the dispute. For example, if a person is injured in a car accident case and the other driver’s insurance company claims the injured person was at fault, the two parties can agree to mediate the case to resolve the dispute.  

    If the parties to the dispute agree to mediate the case, they will select a mutually agreeable mediator. Mediators are usually former judges or lawyers that are experienced in a certain area of law. For instance, in a dispute regarding liability of a car accident, the parties will usually want a mediator that is experienced with car accident cases and injuries.

    The mediation is an informal process where the parties and their lawyers will meet at an office with the mediator. The parties and the mediator will begin the mediation in one office and both parties will have an opportunity to present a brief summary of the facts of the case, legal issues and the claims and defenses. Next, the parties will split up and go to separate offices or rooms. The mediator then will go back and forth between the two rooms and explain the realistic expectations of the case to the parties based upon his/her experience and view of the case. The mediator will attempt to bring the parties to some middle ground to help resolve or settle the case.

    Mediation is not binding upon the parties, which means if either party is not satisfied with the mediator’s recommendations or result of the mediation, they are not constrained by the mediation and can continue to litigate or pursue their other legal options.

    Have You Been Injured in an Accident in Massachusetts?

    If you have suffered injuries in an accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You most likely have many questions about your legal rights and options. If so, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary meeting and case evaluation. We will explain what your legal rights are and how we can best help you. 

  • I always hear about commercial trucking accidents. What exactly is a commercial truck?

    Commercial trucks are large vehicles used in the course of a business to transport products or goods. We have all seen these trucks on the highways or roadways in Massachusetts. They are the tractor trailers, eighteen-wheelers, delivery trucks (i.e., FedEx, UPS, etc…) or other commercial constructions trucks like dump trucks, cement mixers and the like. Most of the commercial trucks require a special license known as a CDL (commercial driver’s license) to operate these large trucks. Some businesses even have pickup trucks registered as commercial trucks.

    These vehicles are extremely large and commercial trucking accidents cause catastrofic and potentially fatal crashes. They usually carry a different insurance policy for bodily injury and property damage. The commercial insurance policies generally offer more coverage because of the danger and risk of serious injury in the event of a commercial truck crash.

    Do You Have Other Questions About A Trucking Accident?

    Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specializes in representing accident victims, including those injured in truck accidents. Our mission is to get the maximum financial compensation for our clients for the injuries, damages and losses they suffered. If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, please contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 for a free meeting to discuss your claim. 

  • 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.