Workers' Compensation Settlements

Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts

An injured worker in Massachusetts who qualifies for workers’ compensation may decide to settle their claim with the insurer or their employer. Boston workers’ compensation attorney Michael O. Smith can provide you with the legal guidance you need if you were injured at work and are seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Over the span of his 15 years of legal practice, Mr. Smith has represented numerous injured workers in their claims for benefits. He advises individuals on their benefits eligibility, and advocates for their interests in settlement negotiations and at hearings. Contact our office to discuss your workers’ compensation case.

Workers’ Compensation Settlements

If you incurred a workplace injury or illness, you may obtain workers’ compensation benefits. By filing a claim with your employer or their insurer, you may be able to obtain benefits that include lost wages, medical expenses, and non-medical benefits that can include vocational retraining. If a worker suffers a fatal workplace injury, their spouses and minor or disabled children may be able to obtain benefits, which include two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly earnings up to the state maximum.

In some cases, a settlement may be in an injured worker’s best interest. A claim for workers’ compensation is similar to a personal injury claim in the sense that the parties involved may decide to settle the claim. A settlement occurs when an insurer makes the injured worker an offer to settle his or her claim for a lump sum, and the worker accepts the offer. These settlements are one-time payments that replace a worker’s weekly compensation and certain other benefits in some cases. Any settlement must be in writing and must be reviewed by the state Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). Under Massachusetts law, the DIA may only approve a settlement if it is in the best interest of the worker. If the settlement is not approved, the worker and insurer can continue to negotiate until they reach one that is acceptable.

Settlements with Third Parties

A third party may, in some instances, be responsible for a worker’s injuries. In such cases, the worker or the employer’s insurer may initiate a third party claim for recovery. Under Massachusetts law, they must wait at least seven months until after the injury occurred to initiate the claim. Unlike settlements in workers’ compensation claims, Massachusetts does not require that a settlement with a third party be in the best interest of the worker. This is only a specific statutory requirement for lump sum settlements with the insurer in workers’ compensation cases. If, however, there is a claim against a third party and an offer for a settlement, it is important that both are presented to the DIA so that they may be heard simultaneously and to ensure that the best interests of the worker are met.

Fair Compensation for Your Workplace Injury

Michael O. Smith is a seasoned Boston workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you seek fair and appropriate compensation for your workplace injury. Mr. Smith has extensive experience in the area of workers’ compensation. He has represented clients at DIA hearings and aggressively negotiated settlement agreements with insurers. His background as a former defense attorney and workers’ compensation claims adjuster can be crucial in protecting your right to benefits. With his advocacy skills and experience in this area, Mr. Smith can help you fight for the best possible outcome for your workers’ compensation claim. He provides his services to clients throughout the Boston area. Call us at 617-263-0060 to arrange an initial consultation at no cost to you, or complete our online form today.