Cambridge Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation provides benefits to most Cambridge employees who are injured on the job, even if the employer was not directly responsible for the accident. Unfortunately, because payments are made by insurance companies, workers’ compensation claims are often denied or contested. Due to this, the aid of legal counsel could make the difference between a successful claim and a failed one.
If you were injured while on the job, you could benefit from speaking with a Cambridge workers’ compensation lawyer. by working with a dedicated Cambridge workers’ compensation attorney, you could more effectively gather evidence and potentially build a much stronger case for compensation. Call John J. Sheehan today at (617) 539-8366.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in Cambridge
Unlike a civil lawsuit, workers’ compensation is a no-fault plan, meaning it is not necessary to prove that someone is specifically to blame for an accident in order to recover benefits. Through workers’ comp, medical benefits and lost wage benefits are available to covered employees who suffer a work-related illness or injury that necessitates medical attention.
According to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) that oversees workers’ compensation claims, available medical benefits include:
- “Adequate and reasonable” medical care
- Reimbursement for prescription medications
- Recovery for transportation costs to medical treatment
- The right to choose a health care provider, after an initial exam
In certain circumstances, additional types of benefits may be available, such as single payments for permanent scarring or loss of bodily function, or vocational benefits for retraining. If a work injury or illness results in death, surviving family members and dependents of the deceased may also be entitled to benefits.
However, under a typical workers’ compensation plan, the employer is given the right to choose the first doctor or hospital that examines the injured worker, and the insurer may further require the employee to see one of his or her doctors for periodic evaluations, which are called Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). While medical services may continue as long as medically required, the insurer may deny treatment it deems unnecessary. Any denial of treatment may be appealed to the DIA with help from a Cambridge workers’ compensation attorney.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Cambridge, MA?
All employers in Massachusetts are required to provide no-fault benefits to employees in the event of occupational illness, injury, or death. However, Massachusetts has established limited exemptions. The following employees are not required to be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance in Cambridge:
- Household employees who work less than 16 hours per week
- Employees that are properly identified as independent contractors
- Employees engaged in interstate/foreign commerce who are covered by federal law
Independent contractors may question if they are covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance in Cambridge. Employers who hire independent contractors are not required to provide them with Workers’ Compensation insurance if all of the following elements are met.
- The worker performed their duties outside their employer’s control or supervision.
- The worker performs work that is outside the employer’s normal course of business.
- The worker has their own independent business doing the type of work at issue.
Determining if a worker should be covered can be complicated. Our Cambridge workers compensation lawyers can help employees determine if they are covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance after an injury.
What Types of Injuries Are Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in Cambridge?
Work injuries can come in many forms. Some injured workers may wonder if their injury qualifies for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation covers a wide variety of injuries in Cambridge. Victims should contact our Workers’ Compensation lawyers if they suffered any of the following injuries on the job:
Workers who suffered a physical injury because of a work accident may receive Workers’ Compensation benefits in Cambridge. The effects of physical injuries are often the most obvious. Injuries such as broken bones, burns, lacerations, and torn ligaments are covered.
Occupational Illnesses or Disorders
Occupational diseases or disorders are also covered by Workers’ Compensation. An occupational disease or disorder occurs when an event or exposure in the workplace causes or contributes to a condition. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, occupational disorders are underreported, with nearly 69% of the injuries not being recorded. The following is a list of the most common occupational disorders:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Allergic contact dermatitis
- Irritant contact dermatitis
- Lateral epicondylitis
- Medial epicondylitis
These conditions can result from a wide range of causes. However, some occupations have a higher rate of occupational illness than others, including
- Chemical workers
- Agricultural workers
- Construction workers
- Health care workers
- Food industry workers
- Machine operators
- Metal workers
- Auto industry workers
All of these occupations may still qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Cambridge. Our Cambridge Workers’ Compensation lawyers can offer further guidance to injured workers questioning whether their disease or disorder is covered.
Repetitive Stress Injury
Repetitive stress injuries are also covered by Workers’ Compensation in Cambridge. Repetitive stress injuries occur because of a gradual buildup of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves from repetitive motions. The following are common causes of repetitive stress injuries:
- Grasping tools
- Using a computer mouse
- Using a cash register
- Working on an assembly line
However, there are many different causes of repetitive stress injury our Cambridge Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you with. No matter the cause, repetitive stress injuries may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits in Cambridge.
In Cambridge, workers who suffer a truly disabling psychiatric injury because of their work may be entitled to compensation. The law requires that a workplace injury be the main cause of a psychiatric condition in order for the condition to be covered by Workers’ Compensation. However, proving a work-related psychiatric injury can be difficult. Our Cambridge Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help gather evidence for any worker who suffered a psychiatric injury because of a work accident.
Temporary and Permanent Aid Under Workers’ Compensation in Cambridge, MA
Workers’ compensation includes various types of incapacity or lost wage benefits for injured workers. These may be paid as varying levels of temporary or permanent benefits, depending on the specific details of a claim.
Temporary Partial Benefits
If you are still able to work light duty after an accident but are not paid the salary or cannot work the same amount of hours as before your injury, you may receive temporary partial incapacity benefits. Temporary partial benefits are paid at 60 percent of the difference of what the injured worker can earn working light duty compared to the injured worker’s pre-accident average weekly wage. The maximum amount of partial benefits is 75 percent of the injured worker’s temporary total benefits.
Temporary Total and Permanent and Total Benefits
Temporary total disability benefits may be paid if you are unable to work due to a work injury. an injured worker must be disabled from work for 21 days in order to receive temporary total benefits for the first five days out of work due to a work injury. The amount of these benefits is calculated based on 60 percent of your average weekly wage from the previous year. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts sets a maximum and minimum workers’ compensation lost wage each year.
If you are completely disabled from all forms of work and a doctor reports that your disability is permanent and you may never work again, you may receive permanent and total incapacity benefits. Unlike temporary total incapacity benefits and partial incapacity benefits, there is no arbitrary time limit for permanent and total incapacity benefits. a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer in Cambridge could help to explain the benefits available.
Limitations to Recovery
Workers’ compensation is a protection plan built on compromise. Essentially, in exchange for the ability to receive benefits without the need to prove negligence, workers lose the right to sue their employers and receive damages for pain and suffering for accidents in the workplace.
However, though they may receive benefits upon showing that an injury occurred during the scope of employment, workers’ comp payments sometimes do not provide as much compensation as what may be available through a negligence lawsuit. In large part, this is because compensation is not available through workers’ compensation for non-economic harm, such as pain and suffering. For more information, contact a seasoned Cambridge workers’ compensation attorney.
Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me for Going on Workers’ Compensation in Cambridge, MA?
Workers’ Compensation is a benefit all workers must receive. Accordingly, Workers’ Compensation retaliation is illegal. Cambridge employers are not permitted to punish or mistreat employees for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim is activity protected by the law. As such, employees in Cambridge should never face retaliation for a Workers’ Compensation claim. Our Cambridge Workers’ Compensation lawyers can offer assistance to any employees who have faced discipline for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost in Cambridge, MA?
Injured workers may be hesitant to hire our Cambridge Workers’ Compensation lawyers because of the cost. Many Workers’ Compensation claimants are in an unstable financial situation after an injury. Accordingly, life after a work injury is often overwhelming for victims.
However, under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, Workers’ Compensation cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis. This means that an injured worker does not pay anything up front and attorney fees will be handled at the conclusion of a case. Also, attorneys in Workers’ Compensation lawsuits can only charge legal fees if they win the case.
Lastly, if a plaintiff wins their case, the insurance company that disputed the victim’s claim will pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees. These regulations make it easier for injured workers to hire attorneys and seek the compensation they deserve.
Our Boston Workers’ Compensation lawyers can answer any further questions regarding how to pay for an attorney in a Workers’ Compensation lawsuit.
How a Cambridge Workers’ Compensation Attorney Might Help
Being injured at work could leave you overwhelmed and confused about how to proceed. If you were harmed while working, a Cambridge workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help clear up some of that confusion.
The claims process could be difficult to navigate, especially when you are trying to recover from a serious injury, but an experienced injury attorney could help explain the intricacies of the workers’ compensation system and work with you to build a strong case for appropriate restitution. For more information about the benefits that may be available in your situation, call (617) 539-8366 today.