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 was injured on the job and now I'm out of work. Can my employer terminate my employment?

    In Massachusetts, if you are hurt on the job and your injuries are keeping you out of work, your employer is not legally required to hold your job open if you are unable to work, unless a union contract or an employment contract of hire requires it. 

    There is a law in Massachusetts (M.G.L. c. 152, § 75A), however, that requires employers to give preference to the rehiring of injured employees when they are able to return to work, if there is a job open and available for them.  

    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 is Contributory Negligence or Comparative Negligence?

    In a personal injury case, who was at fault for the accident is the main issue that is dealt with.  The plaintiff in a personal injury case must establish the defendant was negligent.  But, what about when the defendant denies he was responsible for the accident and claims the plaintiff caused or contributed to the accident?  The defendant’s defense in the case will be based on contributory/comparative negligence. 

    Under the old traditional contributory negligence defense, if a defendant could prove that the plaintiff contributed to causing the accident at all, then the plaintiff could not recover any money for his or her injuries.  This old rule is not used in Massachusetts anymore.

    In Massachusetts, our legislature has enacted a modified comparative negligence law.  It can be found in Massachusetts General Law Chapter 231 § 85, which states: “Contributory negligence shall not bar recovery in any action by any person or legal representative to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or in injury to person or property, if such negligence was not greater than the total amount of negligence attributable to the person or persons against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person for whose injury, damage or death recovery is made. In determining by what amount the plaintiff's damages shall be diminished in such a case, the negligence of each plaintiff shall be compared to the total negligence of all persons against whom recovery is sought. The combined total of the plaintiff's negligence taken together with all of the negligence of all defendants shall equal one hundred per cent.

    What this means is that the plaintiff cannot recover any money for his or her injuries if a judge or jury finds him or her to be 51% or more at fault for the accident.  If the plaintiff is found to have contributed less than 51% toward the accident, then he or she can recover money.  The amount of money, however, is reduced by the percentage of fault the judge or jury assigned to the plaintiff.

    For example, in a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff for injuries she sustained in a car accident, the defendant claims the plaintiff caused the accident and he is not responsible for her damages.  The case is litigated and ultimately tried before a jury.  The jury, after listening to the testimony of the plaintiff, defendant and witnesses, and evaluating all the evidence presented at trial, determined that the plaintiff was 25% at fault and the defendant was 75% at fault.  The jury awarded the plaintiff $100,000 for her injuries.  The plaintiff’s verdict will be reduced by the 25% fault assigned to her by the jury.  So, she will receive a net award of damages in the amount of $75,000,   

    Have you Been Hurt in an Accident in Massachusetts?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident 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.

    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

  • What is PIP (Personal Injury Protection)?

    PIP is the acronym for Personal Injury Protection.  PIP is a part of the standard automobile insurance policy and is governed by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90 §34M.

    If you are involved in a car accident, your insurance policy (or the insurance for the vehicle you were in, if not your car), through its required PIP, provides for the payment of medical bills and expenses as well as a percentage of an injured person’s lost wages if they are unable to work.  Additionally, PIP offers replacement services, which are ordinary household services you would normally do yourself, but cannot because of your injuries. (i.e., house cleaning, grass cutting, snow shoveling). 

    For each person injured in the vehicle, PIP will pay up to $8,000 in benefits for medical bills (or $2,000 in medical bills if you have private health insurance) and 75 percent of any lost wages. In the case where the injured person has their own health insurance policy, PIP pays up to $2,000 of medical bills and then all medical bills beyond the $2,000 will be submitted to the private health insurance company.  PIP will, however, in most cases, cover any reasonable medical expenses that the health insurer either fails to cover or refuses to pay up to $8000.  If you have Mass Health, PIP will pay up to $8,000.

    You should know that PIP is "no-fault" benefits.  This means that they are available no matter whose fault the accident was.  For example, if you were speeding and lost control of your vehicle and crashed into another vehicle on the wrong side of the road, PIP will still pay the benefits discussed above. 

    Have you Been Hurt in a Massachusetts Accident?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident 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.

    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

  • How long will it take to resolve my claim?

    The length of time it takes to resolve an injury claim depends on a number of different factors. Each claim is different and there are many issues that may be involved. For instance, there may be a dispute about who was at fault, how severe the injuries are, and whether the other side is willing to resolve the matter.  Some simple claims are resolved in a reasonable timeframe, while other more complex cases take much longer.  

    In the simpler cases, fault may not be an issue and we are able to resolve the claim as soon as the injured party is done with medical treatment or has reached a maximum medical improvement for their injuries.  While in the more complex cases, where fault may be at issue, a lawsuit may need to be filed.  This may be because the other party claims they did not cause the accident or injury.  In that case, it will take much longer to resolve the injury claim.  This is because lawsuits take time and Courts don't move very fast. Click Here to read about the Progress of a Lawsuit for a summary of what happens during a civil lawsuit. 

    Our goal is to resolve injury claims as quick as possible while striving to get the maximum amount of damages the injured person deserves and is entitled to. 

    Have you Been Hurt in an Accident?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident 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.

    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

  • Can I sue my Employer for my work injury?

    This is a great question that we answer quite frequently. The answer is NO.  In Massachusetts, the workers' compensation laws are set up to be the exclusive remedy for work related injuries. The insurance that Employers are required to carry for injured employees is called "no fault" insurance.  This insurance provides injured workers with benefits for medical care and disability benefits (partial wage replacement). This "no fault" insurance also protects the Employers from potentially damaging lawsuits.  So, generally you cannot file a lawsuit against your Employer for your injury. 

    This is one main reason why workers' compensation claims are significantly different from other personal injury case.  Even in the case where the Employer may have been negligent and that negligence caused or contributed to your injury, you are prevented from filing a lawsuit against your Employer. 

    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. 

     

  • I was seriously hurt on the job. Who’s going to pay my medical bills?

    The laws in Massachusetts, specifically General Laws c. 152 §§ 13 and 30, state that if an employee is hurt while working, he or she is entitled to receive all medical benefits that is reasonable, medically necessary, and causally related to the work injury.  In fact, the laws obligate the workers compensation insurance company to pay these medical benefits.

    For example, if you fall from a ladder while working and break your leg, all treatment, including hospital visits, doctor appointments, surgeries, physical therapy and even medications, are to be paid by the workers compensation insurance company.  

    These medical benefits also cover costs of medications and reimbursement for all out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as, travel to and from doctor visits (mileage, parking, and tolls). 

    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 get money for pain and suffering for my work injury?

    The short answer is “No”.  If you are injured on the job the Workers’ Compensation laws in Massachusetts allow for the payment of disability benefits and medical benefits.  The Massachusetts laws do not provide additional benefits for pain and suffering.  So, when you settle a workers’ compensation claim, generally you are receiving a lump sum of future disability benefits up front.  There is no additional payment for pain and suffering. 

    However, if your injury occurred on the job, but was caused by a third party (not your employer) then you can pursue a separate “third-party” claim for damages, including pain and suffering just like any other personal injury type case.  For example, if you work for a landscaping company and, while driving to a job site, are rear ended by another car and injured you can pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits (disability and medical benefits) and pursue damages (including pain and suffering) against the negligent third party that rear ended you. 

  • When is the best time to hire a car accident lawyer?

    The best time to hire an attorney in any case is immediately. In accident cases, the sooner your attorney can start gathering evidence and obtain witness statements the better chance of success in your case. Cases are won or lost on evidence. In addition, there are time limits to file cases after an accident or being injured. You must act quickly to preserve your rights. 

    After a car accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can also work with your insurance company to coordinate the payment of your medical bills and help get you lost wages if you are unable to work because of your injuries. 

    Also, an experienced injury attorney will help protect you from making mistakes early on that can ruin a personal injury claim.  Protect yourself and hire (or at least speak with) an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. 

    Have you Been Hurt in an Accident?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident 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.

    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

  • My employer (or their workers comp insurance company) said I have to see their doctor. Can I choose my own doctor?

    Absolutely. If you are involved and injured in a work accident you certainly have the right to get treatment from a doctor you choose.You may have to see a preferred medical provider for your initial treatment visit, however, if your employer requires it. After that, you have the right to see and treat with whomever you choose. Many employers will tell you that you have to go to a certain hospital or doctor. Your employer or their insurance company cannot force you to see a doctor that you do not want to see unless you have a specific agreement with your employer.  A workers’ compensation insurance company can, however, make you go to an independent medical examination performed by their doctor. 

    Have you Been Hurt on the Job in Massachusetts?

    If you, or someone you know, has been injured on the job in Massachusetts, you should seek advice about your legal rights. 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 and advise you about your rights. It just might be the best decision you make. 

  • What payments can I receive if I am hurt at work?

    Employees hurt at work, who qualify, are entitled to payments from their employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier know as disability benefits.  There are three types of disability benefits in Massachusetts. 

    1. Temporary Total Disability Benefits (Section 34 benefits).  These benefits are payable to employees whose work injury leaves them unable to work for six or more days.  The payments will be 60% of the employee’s gross average weekly wage.  The injured employee can receive these benefits for up to 3 years (or 156 weeks).

     

    1. Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (Section 35 benefits). If the employee’s injury still allows them to work, but they are losing part of their pay because of the injury, then the employee will qualify for partial disability payments. The payments you receive for partial disability are based on what you are able to earn at work while injured.  The maximum payments, however, for partial disability are two-thirds (or 75%) of your total disability benefits discussed above in No. 1.  Partial disability benefits are available for up to 5 years (or 260 weeks)(or 4 years if you were paid all 3 years of your total disability benefits).

     

    1. Permanent and Total Disability Benefits (Section 34A). These payments are for employees who are totally and permanently unable to work because of their injury.  The employee must be unable to perform any kind of work at all. The payments are two-thirds (or 75%) of the employee’s average weekly wage and are payable to the injured worker for as long as he/she remains disabled. Employees, who are deemed permanently and totally disabled, are also entitled to cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). 

    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.