If you work in Massachusetts and have suffered a workplace injury or illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Boston workers’ compensation attorney Michael O. Smith represents workers who were hurt or suffered an illness while on the job. Mr. Smith has handled countless workers’ compensation cases over the past fifteen years. With his extensive experience in the area of workers’ compensation, as both an attorney and former claims adjuster, he can provide you with the guidance and legal representation you need to seek the benefits you are entitled to receive under the law. If you have suffered a workplace injury, contact our office today.
Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law
A person who is injured at work or suffers a work-related illness in Massachusetts may receive workers’ compensation. The state requires employers to provide all their employees, including both documented and undocumented workers, with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This insurance coverage is meant to compensate workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. These injuries can include bodily injury, illnesses from exposure to toxic substances, or the worsening of a pre-existing condition. An employee’s injury or illness must extend beyond five calendar days to qualify for workers’ compensation, but the days do not have to be consecutive.
While workers’ compensation is in place to protect workers, obtaining benefits is not straightforward. An employer and their insurer may deny you coverage by claiming the injury did not occur at work. They may also argue against the severity of an injury in an attempt to deny an employee the full extent of their benefits. If a workers’ compensation claim is denied, an employee can appeal to the state Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which handles workers’ compensation disputes.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If a person is injured on the job, worker’s compensation benefits include a percentage of his/her lost income. This amount varies depending on the degree of the injury, and is capped at a maximum amount set by the state each year.
- Permanent and total disability – A worker who suffers an injury and is totally and permanently unable to return to work can receive two-thirds of the average weekly wage he/she earned before the injury.
- Temporary total disability – A worker who suffers an injury that leaves him/her temporarily unable to work for more than five days can receive up to sixty percent of his/her weekly wage for up to three years.
- Partial disability – A partially disabled worker who is able to work, but unable to perform at his/her previous earning capacity, can receive sixty percent of the difference between his/her average weekly wage before the injury and what he/she can earn after the injury for up to five years.
Other benefits can include reasonable and necessary medical expenses, scarring and loss of function benefits, retraining, compensation for dependents, and burial expenses if the injury is fatal.
Claims Against Third Parties
In some cases, a third party may also be responsible for a worker’s injuries. A defective product or a negligent property owner may have contributed to a worker’s injury. In such cases, a personal injury suit may be brought against a negligent third party to seek compensation for pain and suffering and other damages.
Advocating For Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Boston workers’ compensation lawyer Michael O. Smith will fight to protect your rights if you were injured at work. Mr. Smith has helped workers obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to receive under the law. If your claim has been denied, Mr. Smith will bring his advocacy skills and experience as a former insurance defense attorney and claims adjuster to stand up to insurers on your behalf. Mr. Smith has aggressively represented his clients’ interests during settlement negotiations and numerous courtroom trials. He will work to seek the compensation you deserve in order to heal and move forward. Call us at 617-263-0060 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today.