Workplace injuries are often unexpected, and you may not have planned to be out of work and paying costly medical bills. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys can help you recover the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to that can keep you financially secure following a workplace accident.
If your employer’s insurance carrier attempts to deny you the benefits you may rightfully be owed, our attorneys can help you file a claim with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. They can also help injured clients collect Social Security Disability benefits and file lawsuits against third parties who contributed to their workplace accidents.
Our Boston attorneys have more than 25 years of experience helping injured workers receive the compensation they deserve. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting a workplace injury, so don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation to find out more about how one of our attorneys may be able to help you.
How Can an Attorney Help Me After a Workplace Accident?
File the Workers’ Compensation Claim: To qualify for workers’ compensation, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible after the accident. If you only realized later that an injury you have was work related, you have four years to file a claim with the insurance company. In preparing your claim, your attorney will gather and examine all the necessary medical documents to help show the full extent of your injuries. Your lawyer will use this information to complete all the paperwork required to file your workers’ compensation claim while you focus on your recovery.
Ensure You Receive the Correct Diagnosis: In Massachusetts, injured workers may be required to undergo an independent medical examination by a doctor of the insurance companies choosing in addition to the exam conducted by a personal physician. The purpose of the IME is to evaluate the extent of your injuries and determine how much work related activity contributed to your injury. If your employer or its insurance company has scheduled you for an independent medical examination, you may want to contact an attorney. The insurance company usually selects and pays the doctor who performs the IME, and the doctor has an incentive to downplay or minimize your injuries so the insurance company will continue using them. As a result, it is in your best interest to also get examined by your own physician.
File a Claim With the DIA: If the doctor performing the IME gives you a less severe diagnosis than your own physician, and you lose benefits as a result, or you were denied benefits in the first place, our attorneys can help you file a claim with the DIA. The DIA was set up as an alternative to the courts to settle workers’ compensation disputes.Your attorney will prepare for the hearing like a trial and present all the medical evidence to try and get you the benefits you are entitled to.
File an Appeal: Workers’ Compensation claims in Massachusetts are sometimes denied for the wrong reasons, and if you lose your initial hearing at the DIA, you may still be able to get benefits. If you are eligible, your attorney may be able to file an appeal with the DIA review board on your behalf, and the board’s judge could overturn the original ruling that denied you benefits. This can be done if you never received any benefits or if your benefits were wrongfully reduced or terminated.
Determine If You Can Obtain Additional Compensation: Workers’ compensation gives workers injured on the job benefits regardless of who caused the accident, even if the worker was partially at fault. In exchange, injured workers cannot sue their employers. In some cases, however, our attorneys may be able to sue another company or individual whose careless or negligent conduct contributed to the injury or illness you developed on the job. For example, if a toxic chemical or defective piece of equipment contributed to your injuries, our workers’ compensation attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
What Types of Benefits Can I Recover?
Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation in Massachusetts provides medical benefits for:
- Hospital and doctor bills;
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses;
- Prescription drugs; and
- Travel expenses relating to necessary medical treatment.
Temporary Wage Loss Benefits: If you are injured at work you are eligible for benefits that will pay you approximately 60 percent of your weekly wage. You become eligible for these benefits on the fifth day of work you are forced to miss as a result of your injury. In Massachusetts, the days do not have to be consecutive. The maximum that you can receive is the state’s average weekly wage, which set annually by the Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training. If you end up missing 21 days of work because of your injury, you become eligible for compensation for the first five days that you missed work, which you have yet to be compensated for. Again, these days do not have to be consecutive. Injured workers may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits and our attorneys can help you apply for these benefits as well.
Partial Disability: Partial disability benefits are given to employees who have sustained an injury, and are able to return to work, but not at the same capacity as before their injury. In Massachusetts, most injured workers are eligible to receive up to 260 weeks of partial disability benefits, and up to 520 weeks in severe cases. Partial disability payments in Massachusetts equal 60 percent of the difference between your average weekly wage before your were hurt and the weekly wages you are now capable of earning in your current state.
Total Disability: An injured worker may qualify for total disability benefits status if he or she is unable to perform any type of work because of the injury they sustained. Workers who are totally disabled receive benefits for life, which is two-thirds of their average weekly salary in the 52 weeks prior to their injury.
Permanent Loss of Function and Disfigurement Benefits: Specific loss benefits provide compensation for the amputation or permanent loss of certain body parts, as well as for disfigurement. These benefits are based on a preset dollar amount for the specific type of injury the worker suffered and is awarded even if they are able to return to work.
Death Benefits: The survivors of a deceased worker may qualify for weekly compensation benefits, as well as a burial expense allowance of up to $4,000. Weekly benefits may be paid to the deceased employee’s spouse, children or another individual who was financially dependent on the deceased worker. Subject to the state’s average weekly wage, surviving spouses may receive two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wages, and are eligible to apply for a yearly cost of living increases two years after the injury.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost?
At Morgan & Morgan, we believe that every person should have access to quality legal representation, regardless of income. That’s why our workers’ compensation attorneys only receive a fee if they are able to obtain compensation for you. This means you pay nothing if we are unable to help.
If you have would like to learn more about how one of our attorneys may be able to help you today, fill out a free, no obligation case evaluation.