Brockton, MA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were hurt on the job, you might be unable to return to work, and a Workers’ Compensation claim might be in order. Although Workers’ Compensation covers most employees, getting approved can be challenging.
The Workers’ Compensation system broadly covers most employees in Massachusetts. Notable exceptions include independent contractors, who are not considered employees within the legal definition. Filing a claim begins with informing your employer and their insurer of your injuries. An attorney can help you fill out the necessary forms and submit your claim. You might be entitled to benefits for temporary or permanent injuries or disabilities, and your medical bills should be covered.
Injured employees can file Workers’ Compensation claims to get financial benefits while they recover. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can assist you through this process. For a free case evaluation, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.
Employees Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Brockton, MA
Workers’ Compensation benefits may be available for most employees in Massachusetts. The legal definition of an employee is broad, but a select few workers are not covered. Independent contractors are generally not considered employees. Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you determine if you are covered.
According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152 § 1(4), the definition of an employee is broad, and many, if not most, workers are likely covered. The law covers anyone in the service of another under a contract for hire. The contract for hire may be implied or express, written or oral.
Several categories of workers are not covered. The law specifically mentioned that seamen on ships engaged in foreign commerce, certain professional athletes, real estate agents, and salespeople that work solely on commission are not included. Additionally, independent contractors are not considered employees.
The line between employee and independent contractor can be unclear. According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 149 § 148B(a), an independent contractor meets the following criteria:
- They are free to control how they perform their duties, and the person who hired them does not direct their job duties.
- The services provided by the worker are outside the normal course of business of the employer.
- The worker is ordinarily engaged in an independently established line of work or trade of the same nature as the services being rendered.
If you are an independent contractor, you might be unable to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, you might be free to file a lawsuit or pursue other courses of legal action for compensation.
How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in Brockton, MA
According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152 § 41, Workers’ Compensation proceedings begin after an injured worker reports their injuries to their employer and the employer’s insurance. Notice of injuries should be served on these parties as soon as practicable. Even so, the law imposes a 4-year time limit. You have 4 years from the time you realized your working conditions caused your injuries.
Generally, once your employer has been notified of your accident, they must submit Form 101, also called the “Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality” form, to their insurance company. The insurance company may investigate your claims and decide whether to pay you compensation.
Employers are required by law to submit these forms to their insurance company. If they fail to do so, they might be penalized. On top of that, you might have to report your injuries to your employer’s insurance company and the Department of Industrial Accidents yourself with the help of our Workers’ Compensation attorneys.
Benefits Provided Through Workers’ Compensation in Brockton, MA
Workers’ Compensation might provide numerous benefits to injured employees. Among these benefits are temporary payments for total or partial incapacity. Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you determine what kind of benefits you qualify for and how to make the most of your compensation.
Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits
You might qualify for temporary total incapacity benefits if you cannot work for 6 or more full or partial calendar days. These days do not have to be consecutive to qualify. Benefits might cover 60% of your gross average weekly income based on the 52 weeks leading up to your injuries. You can continue receiving these benefits for up to 156 weeks, and payment begins on the 6th day of your disability. You may recover compensation for the first 5 days of your disability if you are incapacitated for 21 days or more.
Temporary partial Incapacity Benefits
Temporary partial incapacity benefits may be in order if you can still work but in a lesser capacity. For example, you might only be able to work part-time or in a less demanding position after your injuries. You may be paid 75% of your temporary total benefits, so somewhat less than 60% of your gross average weekly income. You can receive benefits for up to 260 weeks.
Permanent and Total Incapacity Benefits
Permanent and total incapacity benefits are paid to those unable to perform any kind of work. Eligible employees may collect 66% of their gross average weekly wage, and you can apply for a Cost-of-Living Adjustment if needed. These benefits are permanent and may last as long as you need them.
Workers’ Compensation might pay for more than a portion of your lost wages. You can also receive benefits covering medical expenses related to your injuries. Generally, compensation might cover all reasonable medical care necessary for your injuries. You can also be paid for prescription medicine costs and collateral expenses like travel costs to and from treatment.
If your injuries resulted in some permanent loss of function or disfigurement, you might be entitled to additional benefits. To be eligible, the scarring must be on your face, neck, or hands. Usually, benefits for scarring or disfigurement are a one-time payment rather than regular payments over time.
Death benefits may be paid to surviving family members of employees who did not survive their injuries. Surviving spouses may be paid up 66% of the deceased spouse’s average weekly income. Additionally, burial and funeral costs might also be covered.
Call Our Brockton, MA Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Assistance Today
If you were injured at work, speak to our Workers’ Compensation lawyers about filing a claim right away. For a free evaluation of your claims, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. Call our team at (617) 925-6407.