Serious injuries on the job can wreak havoc on your life. Many times, injured workers are dealing with doctor’s appointments, insurance calls and forms, calls from their employer or human resource department all while being out of work with no pay. Let’s not forget the regular monthly bills for your home and family that you have to contend with.
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws and process can be complicated and overwhelming. This is why many injured workers consider retaining a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney who is experienced with handling work accident cases and has a vast understanding of the laws. While not every work injury requires a lawyer, setting up a free consultation with an experienced attorney is a great way to determine whether you need a lawyer and when to hire one.
Here at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we are dedicated to representing injured employees in workers’ compensation claims. We will help guide you through the process, protect your legal rights and fight to get you the benefits you deserve. If you have suffered a work injury in the greater Boston area, contact us today by calling (508) 879-3500 or contact us online.
Overview of Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted to make sure that workers are covered and protected by insurance in case they are injured on the job. It does this by requiring employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. This insurance coverage offers specific benefits to a worker if he or she is injured on the job.
Workers’ compensation in Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance system. Thus, it is irrelevant who is responsible for causing the accident that injured the worker. Even if the worker was careless and caused the accident that resulted in injuries, the injured worker would still be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Two vital benefits offered by workers’ compensation are disability benefits and medical benefits. Disability benefits are designed to replace a portion of the wages an injured employee is unable to earn due to their work injury. Medical benefits are benefits that will cover the costs of any reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the employee’s injury.
While an injured worker may be eligible for benefits, a major concern in each case is whether the injured work is receiving the benefits he or she deserves. An injured worker may not have a full understanding of the workers’ compensation process in Massachusetts or the different benefits available. If you have been injured on the job, you shouldn’t just accept what the insurance company offers or pays as benefits. You should get unbiased advice and gather as much information about your legal rights and options. The best way to obtain this information is to speak with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Massachusetts
As stated above, in Massachusetts, when a worker is hurt on the job, he or she is eligible for certain workers’ compensation benefits. The type of benefits depends on the severity and extent of the injury you suffered at work. For example, if you require medical treatment for your work injury, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company should cover the medical bills. Similarly, if your injury causes a disability – whether it be total or partial – the insurance company should pay you disability benefits.
In some situations, however, injured workers have difficulty getting medical bills paid or even getting doctor’s appointments or treatment scheduled. Sometimes, injured workers may be out of work for a significant amount of time and are not receiving the disability benefits they deserve, or any for that matter.
However, after a work accident you wonder when you should speak with or hire an injury lawyer. We recommend that all injured employees should at least consult with an attorney after a work accident. You may not need to hire one yet, but if you encounter some of the issues presented in the examples below that some of our previous clients faced, you may want to consider retaining an attorney.
- One client was out of work for several weeks and his employer refused to report the injury to his workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The issue here is that the workers’ compensation insurance company will not know about your accident or injury. Therefore, if you are eligible for benefits, you will not receive them in a timely manner.
- This same client was unable to schedule doctor’s appointments because the medical office needed the workers’ compensation claim number.
- A young man suffered a fractured heel bone and was out of work for months before hiring us. During that timeframe, he did not receive any money or benefits.
- A young woman was collecting temporary total disability benefits, but the insurance company notified her that her benefits were going to end. This worker was extremely concerned because she relied on the disability benefits to support herself and her family while she was recovering from her injuries.
- A worker was collecting disability benefits, but the insurance company filed a Complaint to Terminate his benefits. This worker wasn’t sure what to do at that point and needed help.
- In another case, the work accident was reported by our client’s employer, but the workers’ compensation insurance company denied the claim. This worker did not know what her options were.
- A woman hurt her shoulder on the job and required a surgery. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier refused to pay for the surgery.
If you’ve run into any of the above problems, you would certainly benefit from speaking with an experienced Massachusetts lawyer. We have represented many injured workers who have faced various issues that warranted speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney. We offer free consultations. So, why not at least get some information about what your legal rights and options are before it’s too late.