Chelsea Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury or developed an illness while on the job in Chelsea, you are probably dealing with heavy medical bills, losing out on wages while missing time at work, and struggling with the personal consequences of your condition. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain financial relief through Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Workers’ Compensation insurance benefits those employees who suffer injury while at work resulting from mere accidents or employer negligence. If another party caused the injurious accident, however, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that party to potentially recover even more in damages.
At the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, we know how difficult it can be to juggle your financial recovery while also dealing with your physical recovery. To get you started off right, our Chelsea Workers’ Compensation lawyers can offer you a free initial case assessment when you call our offices today at (617) 925-6407.
How Workers’ Compensation Applies in Chelsea
According to Massachusetts law, Workers’ Compensation is the means by which injured employees get compensated when they get injured on the job. Workers’ Compensation insurance will benefit any employee who gets injured or ill while at work.
To get access to these benefits, you must fit the definition of an employee. Generally, Massachusetts law includes anyone who is working for hire for another person or business entity. Still, you should always consult with a Chelsea Workers’ Compensation attorney about whether you fit this definition, as a number of exceptions do exist. Anyone who is technically an independent contractor, such as a rideshare driver, is not an employee in the traditional sense. Exceptions also exist for certain types of occupations such as longshoremen and real estate salespeople that derive income entirely from commission on sales.
Another critical issue is determining whether you sustained the injury while at work. Some cases are fairly cut and dry, like if you slipped and fell on the construction site where you were working. However, some jobs do not have an established physical space, like those where you are driving on behalf of your employer. This can get tough if you were to be injured in a car accident, because you will need to show that you were actively doing your job at that point. If you are not sure whether you suffered your injury at work, contact an experienced Chelsea Workers’ Compensation lawyer for help.
Illnesses are also covered by Workers’ Compensation. However, to apply for coverage for an illness, you will need to show that you developed your condition as a result of doing your job or being at your place of work. If you work in close proximity to dangerous or toxic substances like asbestos, you could develop serious conditions such as cancer or respiratory conditions. You will want the help of a Chelsea Workers’ Compensation attorney to help you demonstrate the connection between your illness and your job.
Filing a Workplace Injury Lawsuit for Third Party Negligence in Chelsea
In most cases, the exclusive path to recover for a workplace injury in Chelsea and the rest of the Commonwealth is through a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, there are some instances where the injured party can look to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, through which they can recover damages.
Massachusetts law requires that injured workers seek their monetary remedy through Workers’ Compensation if their injury was caused by their employer’s negligence, or if no fault was assigned for the accident in question. Put differently, if the accident was merely an accident, or if your employer caused it, you cannot sue your employer for damages. However, this requirement does not apply where the injured party was not an employee or where a non-employing party was to blame for the injury.
Independent Contractor as the Injury Victim
If you were not an employee, the law does not require you to go through Workers’ Compensation. This is because independent contractors often do not receive coverage for Workers’ Compensation insurance through parties with whom they do business, as they are technically self-employed. If you are not sure whether you are a traditional employee or an independent contractor, our Chelsea Workers’ Compensation lawyers may be able to help explain the differences as they apply to you.
Contractor as the At-Fault Party
Whether you were an employee or not, you can still look to sue non-employing entities if their own negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior caused the accident that harmed you. If your employer contracted with a third-party contractor who fell short in their responsibilities, they may be liable for your damages if their failures were the cause of your injuries. Common examples of third parties that may incur liability for negligence in a workplace injury include construction subcontractors, electricians and plumbers, and safety inspection companies.
You may also be able to step outside Workers’ Compensation if your injury was caused by a faulty product. Defective devices or machines can put the workers that use them in harm’s way. Liability for these types of accidents almost always lies with the manufacturing company that produced the defective product. Our experienced Chelsea Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you through the complex process of proving that a manufacturer negligently sold a product that had defects.
Differences Between Suing and Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Chelsea
In many cases, injury victims may not have the choice between filing a workers’ compensation claim or pursuing legal action in court. However, where the choice does exist, it is important that you identify not only your ability to choose for yourself, but also the benefits of suing over filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Specifically, lawsuits are often the much more lucrative path where available. This is because calculations for damages in a lawsuit will account for all of your harms, whether they be financial or personal in nature. Workers’ Compensation claims, on the other hand, only provide up to a certain amount of compensation that is predetermined by the applicable policy limits. Insurance claims also do not account for the noneconomic damages caused by the accident and injuries, like the effects of chronic pain and discomfort on your daily life.
Discuss Your Case with a Chelsea Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
When you call the Chelsea Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today, we can get you an initial assessment of your case for free. Pick up the phone and dial (617) 925-6407 today to find out more.