Arlington, MA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Injuries on the job might put you out of commission with no income and high medical bills. A Workers’ Compensation claim might help you recoup many of these losses and make ends meet while you recover.
You may begin your claim for Workers’ Compensation after experiencing an on-the-job injury. The accident must be related to your job, and fault for the accident often does not matter. Benefits may include coverage for reasonably necessary medical costs, lost compensation, and possibly more. To be eligible for benefits, you must be an employee within the legal definition of the term. While most workers are legally considered employees, a select few are not. Generally, injured workers are barred from suing employers if they file a Workers’ Compensation claim, but liable third parties are not off limits.
If you were hurt at work and need help, contact our Workers’ Compensation lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 and schedule a confidential case review for free.
When You Can File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Arlington, MA?
You may file a Workers’ Compensation claim after experiencing a workplace accident. Be warned that not all workplace accidents are related to your job. Your accident must be sufficiently work-related. For example, being injured by a faulty tool you use to do your job might qualify as work-related. Being injured in a slip and fall accident while on your lunch break in a restaurant down the street from your office might not be sufficiently work-related.
A major gray area regarding work-related accidents involves people who travel for work. If you are injured in an airport while flying for a business trip, can you file for Workers’ Compensation? Generally, you can file a claim if you are injured doing something that arises from your official job duties. This typically includes traveling.
Fault generally does not matter as long as you did not hurt yourself on purpose. This means you can be responsible for the accident that caused your injuries and still file a claim. However, you might run into trouble if the insurance company suspects you caused the accident on purpose so you could file a claim and get “easy money.”
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in Arlington, MA
Various benefits are included in Workers’ Compensation claims. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can review your injuries and overall case with you to determine what kind of benefits you need. After that, we can help you file a claim to get those benefits so you can continue to support yourself through your recovery.
Medical benefits cover medical procedures and treatment considered reasonably necessary to your recovery. Mostly, this may include surgery, X-rays, braces, mobility aids, physical therapy, and more. If your employer’s insurance provider that pays for Workers; Compensation benefits suspects some treatments are unnecessary, they might refuse to cover you.
It is not unusual for people to get some pushback from insurance companies, especially when they need numerous costly medical treatments. If you run into trouble, your lawyer can help you protect your rights and make sure you get the compensation you need.
Workers’ Compensation may provide for lost wages. The amount of compensation may vary depending on whether your disability is total and prevents you from working at all or partial and limits but does not eliminate your ability to work.
Temporary total benefits include 60% of your gross average weekly income based on the 52 weeks before your injury. You can receive temporary total benefits for up to 156 weeks.
Temporary partial benefits are comprised of 75% of your potential temporary total benefits, as described above. These benefits can last for up to 260 weeks.
Permanent and total benefits are somewhat larger and are comprised of 66% of your gross average weekly income. Because injuries in these cases are permanent and total, claimants may continue receiving benefits indefinitely.
Eligibility for Arlington, MA Workers’ Compensation
Only people who meet the legal definition of an employee are covered by Workers’ Compensation. The definition of an employee is very broad, and many workers are covered. However, there are certain exceptions, and you should check with your attorney if you are unsure whether you are legally considered an employee.
Generally, workers hired to perform a job for wages or a salary are considered employees. An employee is someone whose job is controlled by their employer. Where and how an employee works is often up to their boss. These people are automatically covered by Workers’ Compensation beginning their first day on the job.
Independent contractors are not legally considered employees. An independent contractor might appear as an employee, but key differences exist. Independent contractors are usually their own bosses who decide when and how they work. They also decide how much to charge for their services. The person hiring them is not an employer but a client.
To be eligible for Workers’ Compensation, an employee must be unable to work for at least 5 days. These days can be non-consecutive. For example, if you twist your ankle at work and need to take 2 days off to recover before returning, you are probably not eligible for Workers’ Compensation. If the pain in your ankle causes you to miss 5 days of work, you might be eligible even if those days are not back to back. You must file the claim no more than 4 years after being injured.
Can I Sue and File a Workers’ Compensation Claim at the Same Time in Arlington, MA?
In Massachusetts, injured employees are often barred from suing their employers. Even if the accident was completely your boss’ fault, you cannot sue them, barring special circumstances. Not only that, but you also cannot opt out of Workers’ Compensation in favor of a lawsuit. Workers’ Compensation is required if you are injured at work and meet eligibility criteria.
You can sue third parties. A third party is someone who might be liable for the accident but who is not your boss or a coworker. For example, a factory worker might be injured by a piece of malfunctioning machinery. While you cannot sue your employer for the accident, you might be able to sue the machinery manufacturer for making it defective and dangerous.
Only under very limited circumstances can you sue your employer. You may sue your boss if they willfully and deliberately caused the accident. Your employer cannot intentionally inflict harm and expect to be shielded from liability by Workers’ Compensation rules. You may also sue your employer for not carrying Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Call Our Arlington, MA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Assistance
If you were hurt at work, contact our Workers’ Compensation attorneys by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 and schedule a confidential case review for no charge.