If you were injured on the job in Massachusetts and your injuries are preventing you from returning to work to earn your pay, you may be wondering whether you need a lawyer. Well, I think the best way to explain whether an injured worker needs to hire a lawyer or at least speak with a lawyer is by looking at an example.

Injured Nurse in Massachusetts Consults with an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer

I was recently hired by a nurse, and this nurse injured her lower back lifting a patient at work. She reported the injury right away to her employer, and she sought medical attention.  Due to the severity of her lower back injury, her doctor had ordered her to stay out of work while she was treating and recovering from her injuries. She provided her employer with a disability note, and her employer did promptly report the work-related accident and injury to worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation voluntarily made payments of weekly disability benefits. That’s the good news. The bad news is they were only paying her $100 per week.

After a couple of months only receiving $100 per week and the financial strain that comes with that, she reached out to me. Immediately upon evaluating her case, that $100 per week was a red flag for me. Number one, it’s below the state minimum Massachusetts. Number two, I’ve represented a lot of injured nurses in the past and I know that nurses typically make more money than would warrant or justify only $100 per week.

Action Taken by our Experienced Framingham Workers’ Comp Lawyer

So, I conducted an investigation. I determined that this injured nurse was earning $550 per week as an average weekly wage, and you may know or have seen some of my other videos that the disability benefits are all based on the injured worker’s average weekly wage.

When an injured worker is unable to return to work completely, they are eligible for temporary disability benefits. These benefits are calculated as 60% of the injured workers’ average weekly wage. So, in this example, with the nurse earning $550 per week as an average weekly wage, her disability benefit rate should’ve been $330. That’s 60% of the average weekly wage that she earned.

I immediately filed the claim on her behalf. I was successful in that claim and got a Court Order for the worker’s compensation insurance carrier to pay her $330 per week for temporary disability benefits. In addition, I was able to get the retroactive difference between the $100 they were paying her and the $330 they should have paid her.

Injured Workers Should Consult With Experienced Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney

This is just an example why injured workers, at least - at the very least - should consult with an experienced attorney after being hurt at work. You have to understand, the insurance companies and their adjusters have supervisors and attorneys they can consult with. They’re trained on the worker’s compensation process and understand the benefits, so they do have a leg up on injured workers who may be going through this process for the very first time.

So do yourself a favor if you’ve been hurt at work, reach out to an experienced attorney. Most lawyers offer free consultations, such as myself.  I’m happy to answer questions and at least evaluate a claim to make sure that you, the injured worker, are getting the benefits that you deserve.

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.