Massachusetts Workplace Injury Lawyers
Most people probably associate on-the-job accidents with inherently dangerous jobs. People like factory workers or employees working with heavy machinery are certainly more likely to be injured. However, accidents can happen in any workplace, even in a typical office. Employees who are injured at work should be compensated for their injuries and the wages they might lose.
In the event that you are injured in a work-related accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer to get compensation for your injuries. If, for whatever reason, you cannot sue your employer, there could be other third parties that share responsibility for your accident. If this sounds like your situation, you can count on our Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers for help. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407. We can arrange a free legal consultation regarding your claim.
Workplace Accidents and Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts
Ordinarily, a workplace injury will be dealt with through a claim for workers’ compensation. In most cases, an employee will not be permitted to file a lawsuit against their employer. Instead, they must report the accident to their employer and their employer must file a report with their insurance company. The insurance company will require some evidence of the accident and any injuries you have. This will necessitate a visit to a doctor for treatment. Medical records make for excellent evidence in a workers’ compensation case. It is usually the first thing insurance companies look for.
However, you might be able to sue your employer for personal injuries from a workplace accident under certain circumstances. Personal injury lawsuits can be more advantageous because they generally yield greater compensation for injured employees. Consult with our Massachusetts workplace injury attorneys to determine if your case meets these requirements.
Suing an Employer for Personal Injuries in Massachusetts
You could sue your employer if you can prove you are not an employee as defined under the law. The definition of an employee for workers’ compensation is broadly construed. Most people will be classified as employees and must take the workers’ compensation route. However, if you can prove you were not an employee but more like an independent contractor, you might be able to sue. Not only that, even if you are an employee, but your employer has no insurance to cover your injuries, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against your boss. Our Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers can help you begin your lawsuit.
Suing your boss in a personal injury lawsuit can be challenging. Your accident must have occurred under certain conditions. Otherwise, a personal injury lawsuit is prohibited. Primarily, you must have reason to believe that your accident and injuries were caused by willful misconduct on the part of your employer. Essentially, this means you must make a showing of fault.
The key to proving fault is showing that your boss did something that resulted in your accident. Your employer’s actions could be willful, meaning they made a conscious choice, or they could be negligent. Employer negligence occurs when an employer owes a duty of care to their employees, usually involving safe work conditions, and they breach that duty, thus resulting in a workplace accident. Additionally, their action or inaction should be out of line with normal business operations. Our Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers can help you determine what kind of case you have and how to get your personal injury lawsuit started.
OSHA Regulations and Workplace Injuries in Massachusetts
One method of determining if you can sue your employer is looking for any OSHA violations. OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They provide rules and regulations for safe work environments. A violation of these regulations could provide you with grounds for a lawsuit.
OSHA lays out safety rules for a number of different work environments. Our Massachusetts workplace injury attorneys can help you find the rules applicable to your specific field and work environment. Some common OSHA requirements include, but are not limited to…
- Inspecting workplace conditions to make sure they comply with safety standards
- Having safe and healthy operating procedures and communicating those procedures to employees
- Providing relevant safety training
- Providing medical examinations when necessary
Remember, even if a violation of OSHA regulations exists, you must also prove that your employer acted willfully. A violation that results from an accidental oversight may not allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, an accident that happens because an employee did not receive proper safety training might qualify for a personal injury lawsuit if the employer knowingly withheld training. If the employee skipped training without their employer’s knowledge, the employer could not be said to have committed willful misconduct.
Advantages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Massachusetts
A personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim can seem very similar. Both arise out of workplace accidents that may not be the fault of the injured employee. In both circumstances, the employer must provide compensation. However, there are multiple crucial differences between these cases. A personal injury lawsuit carries some distinct advantages. Our Massachusetts workplace injury attorneys can provide more insight on the matter.
A personal injury lawsuit for workplace accidents has some unique challenges but can ultimately result in greater compensation for your injuries. First and foremost, you must prove fault. In a workers’ compensation case, there is no fault. You could be entirely responsible for your own accident and still receive workers’ compensation. On the other hand, a personal injury lawsuit requires a showing that your employer was willfully negligent or knowingly caused the accident. Unlike a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury lawsuit may yield more damages. Pain and suffering may be used to calculate damages, so the amount of money you could receive is potentially greater. A personal injury lawsuit, unlike a workers’ compensation case, is voluntary. You are not legally required to file the lawsuit.
Not only that, but a personal injury lawsuit provides a plaintiff with far more options. You could sue your employer directly under a theory of negligence. You could also sue a third party, such as a subcontractor hired by your employer, if they were the ones who caused the accident. You could even sue the manufacturer of the machinery or equipment you use as part of your job is faulty equipment caused the accident.
If you are unsure about what kind of case you have, reach out to our Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers for guidance. We are prepared to represent clients in both personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation cases.
Call Our Massachusetts Workplace Injury Attorneys for a Legal Consultation
If you were the victim of a work-related accident and believe your employer’s negligence caused that accident, you might have proper grounds for a civil lawsuit. Contact our Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers for a free and confidential legal consultation. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.