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You take pride in your work and the last thing you want is to get injured on the job. When an injury does occur, you might be hesitant to report it. But, under Massachusetts workers compensation law, it’s important you go through the process and report any injuries as soon as they occur. No one goes to work hoping they’ll one day need worker’s compensation, but when an injury occurs, there is no questioning its importance under the law. But, with so much misinformation out there, can you really answer “What is workers compensation?” If you or a loved one were injured on the job, it’s important you properly report and document your injuries in their entirety. Don’t overwork yourself or attempt to push through it. And, if you’re uncertain whether you’re getting the appropriate compensation, it’s time to pick up the phone and contact a worker’s compensation attorney. Before you do, it might help to have an understanding of how the law works in regards to compensation.

What is Workers Compensation?

Like many aspects of the law, worker’s compensation is not a name that immediately instills a sense of certainty. As a worker, you are compensated for the time you work. So, aren’t you already receiving worker’s compensation? In modern usage, the meaning of this term actually refers less to the money you make from working. Instead, it refers to a type of insurance that covers you for injuries on the job which may prevent you from working.

More specifically, worker’s compensation provides wage replacement and medical care coverage for those who are injured on the job. In the state of Massachusetts, laws surrounding worker’s compensation are clear on how these injuries are to be handled. In case you or a loved one have been injured on the job, it’s time to call Shapiro Law Group.

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Massachusetts Workers Compensation Laws

Massachusetts workers compensation is laid out in specific laws that cover injuries and the care that a worker is entitled to. In fact, those who are injured on the job can file a claim directly online at the government website for worker’s compensation. However, when you file a claim, you are utilizing the above-mentioned “insurance” aspect of worker’s compensation. In doing so, you are freeing your employer of additional responsibility in helping you move past your injuries.

This is where a worker’s compensation attorney can be your best friend. Accepting worker’s compensation means you will not be able to hold your employer responsWorkerible under tort law. This means if your injuries and loss of wages aren’t properly handled under worker’s compensation, you will be left without any further means of recovering damages. Though this is often still the best route, an experienced lawyer can advise you on specifics and look at the cause of your injury to determine the best approach.

Types of Injuries and Their Causes

Depending on your line of work, there are many ways you can become injured on the job. Some of these injuries can be minor and some severe, even impacting your mobility or well-being for the rest of your life. Regardless of how minor the injury might seem at the time, it’s important you report your injury to your immediate supervisor right away. But, what are some types of common workplace injuries?

If you work with machinery or packaging, you might encounter cuts, bruises, scrapes, or other seemingly superficial injuries. You could also break a bone or sustain damage to ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. If the accident is due to a slip and fall or a vehicular collision, you may sustain brain injuries. Stress-induced injuries can also be included under worker’s compensation laws.

One commonly overlooked injury is when you are injured on the job while operating a vehicle. Car accidents are all too common and if you are driving for work and sustain an injury, you may be eligible for third party liability claims. Additionally, overexertion or repetitive motion that causes an injury can fall on the employer as a liability and be eligible for worker’s compensation under Massachusetts law. With this in mind, it’s important you always report an on-the-job injury and properly document it.

Better Understanding of Workers Compensation

Since the severity of a worker’s compensation injury can vary so greatly, Massachusetts law already has detailed benefits available to those injured on the job. In fact, they list five major benefit categories that all those injured should be aware of.

Medical Benefits

This one is pretty self-explanatory. When you are injured on the job, worker’s compensation will pay for medical expenses due to the injury. In fact, by law, these benefits can cover travel expenses to and from medical care facilities as well as any long-term expenses that arise as a direct result of your injury.

Permanent Loss of Function and Disfigurement Benefits

For more severe injuries, you may have sustained a permanent disfigurement or loss of function in your body. Whatever the injury entails, this benefit is available as a one-time payment. While it will not recover the loss of functioning, it is intended to help offset any financial burden created by the injury.

Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits

This temporary benefit is available to those who may be incapacitated and unable to work for six or more days up to 156 weeks. It will pay 60% of your lost wages due to the injury.

Partial Incapacity Benefits  

This benefit is designed for injuries that might prevent you from continuing your previous position but not so serious that you are unable to work. Specifically, if you have to work in a position that pays less, this will cover 75% of the lost benefits and can continue for up to 260 weeks.

Permanent and Total Incapacity Benefits

Providing benefits for as long as you are injured, this is designed to pay you 2/3 of your total salary as long as necessary after an injury. Based on the last 52 weeks of your employment, this will continue to pay 2/3 of your salary for as long as you are unable to work.

For a look at specific benefits available, you may wish to visit the Massachusetts Worker’s Compensation blog online. If you or a loved one were injured on the job and you’re looking for assistance on your worker’s compensation claim, Shapiro Law Group can help.

Reporting Your Injury

As mentioned above, Massachusetts workers compensation is managed by the Department of Industrial Accidents. This means if you are injured on the job, you will need to contact this department to report your injuries. Of course, if you speak with a worker’s compensation attorney, you’ll want to ensure you fully report your injuries and the circumstances around them. Whether from coercion by your employer or misplaced apprehension on your own, it’s important you not leave out or gloss over details around your on-the-job injury.

Remember, these laws were put into place to protect you as a worker. When an injury occurs, it’s essential you immediately report it to your supervisor and file any paperwork available at your worksite. Your employer should take an injury like this seriously, so make sure they follow up and properly document it. When in doubt, document the injury yourself and relay all pertinent information about the injury to your attorney. Proper reporting can go a long way to ensuring you get justice when you file your worker’s compensation claim.

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Don’t Overexert Yourself

While Massachusetts worker’s compensation is designed to provide protection for those injured on the job, the reality is that it can only help as much as you allow it. As it’s important to report your injuries right away and without omission, it’s also important you recognize any limitations the injury places on you. The last thing you want to do is sustain an injury and then try to “work through it.”

Not only can this cause additional injuries, but an unscrupulous employer could assert that if your injuries were as extensive as you indicated, you would not have been able to continue. In other words, while we try to believe the best in our employers, it’s best to play it safe when an injury is involved. If you do push yourself and injure yourself further, they could assert that you caused the injury and work to diminish their responsibility in the claim.  

If you or a loved one have been injured on the job and need help pursuing damages for your injury, call Shapiro Law Group at 339-298-2300 to see how we can help.

Hiring A Workers Compensation Attorney

With a deep examination of the issues, hopefully, you have a better idea about what is workers compensation. From immediately reporting to the injury to seeking proper medical care and giving yourself time to rest, reporting and properly filing a claim can take some time. When you or a loved one are injured on the job, one of the best decisions you can make is to hire a worker’s compensation attorney.

Beyond just ensuring your medical bills are covered, an experienced lawyer will work with you to ensure you receive the right kind of injury benefit and your needs are fully addressed by the settlement you receive. Ultimately, your employer is responsible for providing a safe work environment. If they were negligent, you are well within your rights to seek a settlement that helps make you whole. Whether it’s a short-term injury or a long-term one, on-the-job injuries can greatly impact your financial stability and negatively affect your ability to provide for your family. The worker’s compensation claim system is designed to help ensure this does not occur.

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Your Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that employers, while they may have your best interest in mind, are never infallible. This is why it’s important to ensure you get proper recognition for your injuries and everything is properly documented for workers’ compensation purposes. Beyond just documenting and working with your employer, it’s important you follow up and make sure you get proper compensation for your injuries.

Massachusetts workers compensation laws make it clear what an employer is and isn’t responsible for. And, whether your employer is intentionally avoiding proper compensation for your injuries or not is immaterial.  What’s important is that you get what is due to you by law. This is why it’s essential to hire an experienced worker’s compensation attorney.

At the Shapiro Law Group, we work with our clients on a one-on-one basis. This means instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach, we examine the full circumstances of your injury and the situations surrounding it. This way, we work to get you just compensation for your injuries and any time you spend recovering. When you need to discuss your case, call us today at 339-298-2300 for a free consultation.

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