What Conditions Qualify You for Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts?

Workers in Massachusetts suffer injuries on the job every day. When these injuries occur, employees typically look to workers’ compensation coverage to help them with costs incurred from medical bills and missed work hours.

There is no predetermined list of conditions that qualify for workers’ compensation. You will merely be required to show that your condition resulted from your time or actions while on the job. Even if your workplace injuries exacerbated a pre-existing condition, you may still be able to succeed in your claim, though you may have to go through an arduous appeals process. If your employer was responsible for negligently or recklessly causing the accident or conditions that led to your injuries, you may benefit from a workplace personal injury lawsuit rather than a workers’ compensation claim.

If you were injured on the job, talk to one of the resourceful Boston workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. We can help you decide what path is best for you during your free initial case evaluation. Call us at (617) 925-6407.

How to Tell if You Are Covered for Your Workplace Injury in Massachusetts

Your workplace injury does not have to fit neatly within a particular list of conditions in order to get workers’ compensation in Massachusetts. Generally, you will be able to obtain coverage from your employer’s policy if all of the following apply:

  • You were an employee at the time of the accident
  • The accident was work-related and occurred to you while you were working
  • The accident injured you through no fault of your own
  • Your employer possessed workers’ compensation insurance at the time of the accident
  • You file your claim on time

There is a tricky exception when it comes to the aggravation of pre-existing conditions, which we will cover later on this page. If you would like to hear more about how you can obtain money from workers’ compensation insurance, call our Cambridge workers’ compensation attorneys today.

Common Conditions Covered Under Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Insurance

While there is no definitive list of conditions that will or won’t be covered under workers’ compensation, there are some types of injuries that occur more than others. Below are summaries of a few of the types of conditions that result in the most valid workers’ compensation claims across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts every year.

Slip and Falls

On work sites, the ground where workers operate is not always stable. Slip and falls get even more dangerous when there are dangerous materials or tools in the area. Broken bones, sprains, and neck or back injuries are particularly common results of slip and falls. Some injuries are particularly common if the person begins to fall but stops themselves awkwardly. If your employer did not do enough to clean up the area or provide ample lighting, you may be able to file a workplace injury lawsuit against them, which may be more lucrative than a workers’ compensation claim.


Any occupation that involves heavy lifting, pushing, or carrying has the potential to cause serious harm. Overexertion injuries may happen suddenly or build up over time due to common work patterns. Slipped and herniated discs are the most common injuries associated with overexertion and can prevent a victim from carrying out many of their necessary daily functions, including meeting their work responsibilities.

Falling Objects

Workers on a job site may be engaged on several different levels. At elevation, supervisors must take care to ensure that work materials and tools are secured from coming loose or falling to ground level. These accidents are most common on construction sites involving the use of tall ladders or scaffolding.

Repetitive Motion

A person’s job requirements may cause them to engage in certain physical motions that the human body is not meant to undergo for extended periods of time. This is just as true in the manual labor world as it is in other areas. Tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and forms of arthritis may result over time. Your injury does not have to result from a single accident or event in order to be compensable.

Toxic Exposure

Employers have a duty to provide the necessary safety equipment and training to workers who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals or substances such as asbestos in the course of their job. If they fail in this duty, an employee who contracts a disease associated with their exposure may file a lawsuit against the employer. Even if the employer does everything right, exposure is still possible, and the employee can look to workers’ compensation for the support that they require.

Are Aggravated Pre-Existing Conditions Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts?

If the workers’ compensation insurance provider determines that your injuries stem from a pre-existing condition, they may initially deny your claim. This does not mean that pre-existing conditions would prevent your recovery through workers’ compensation. Even if your initial claim is denied, you can still appeal the insurance provider’s determination to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). You can have an attorney represent you during the appeal.

Pre-existing conditions may be exacerbated by workplace events or accidents. If the insurer tries to argue that your claimed injuries resulted from your pre-existing condition, you may introduce evidence to show that the workplace accident was a substantial cause of your current condition. Even if you fail, you still may be able to recover compensation specifically associated with treating the exacerbation of your injury. Talk to an experienced Wakefield workers’ compensation lawyer today if you are concerned that a pre-existing condition will affect your ability to seek workers’ compensation for your injuries.

Ask John J. Sheehan About Whether Your Condition Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts

Our diligent Somerville workers’ compensation lawyers will work with you to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review.

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