What Conditions Qualify You for Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, most employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. These insurance policies are designed to compensate workers for any injuries or illnesses they receive while working.
This process is theoretically “no-fault,” meaning all work injuries should be covered that happen while the worker is doing their job. The only requirements to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits are: (1) the worker is an employee and (2) the worker is injured while doing their job. However, many employers may deny a claim for a variety of reasons. In many cases, they would claim a condition is not covered or existed before the work accident. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you determine if your condition qualifies for a workers’ comp claim. Call today to learn more about the common conditions of workers’ compensation in Wakefield.
Conditions Covered Under Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Laws
When a Wakefield employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, their policy covers injuries under there general conditions:
- The victim is a current employee
- The employer carries workers’ compensation insurance
- The worker files their claim on time
While workers’ compensation covers both part-time and full-time employees, it does not cover freelancers, seasonal help, or domestic workers. Some employers treat employees as freelancers to avoid workers’ compensation expenses, but a seasoned attorney could help hold an employer accountable.
Examples of Conditions Commonly Covered
Although there is no formal list of the conditions that qualify for workers’ compensation in Wakefield, the nature of the injury and a workers’ employment status play a larger role in the compensation process. However, there are some work-related injuries that occur more often than others. Examples of common conditions covered by a work comp claim may include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Neck or back injuries
- Torn rotators cuffs
- Tendon and ligament damage
- Knee injuries
- Ankle injuries
This list represents only a handful of claims that could result in a workers’ compensation claim. To learn more about these conditions, contact a Wakefield lawyer.
Aggravating Pre-Existing Conditions
Some workplace accidents result in an injury to a body part that was otherwise healthy. However, many accidents also exacerbate injuries that had occurred previously. Known as pre-existing conditions, these conditions could result in a viable workers’ compensation claim if the injury made the condition worse.
The claims process is designed specifically for injuries that occur at the workplace. That means that any damage caused by the original injury are not recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim. However, any pre-existing condition that is aggravated by a work injury could qualify for compensation. This could involve making an ongoing medical condition worse, or re-injuring a body part that had otherwise healed. Pre-existing conditions are complex, but they are not an outright bar to recovery for an injured worker.
Conditions Not Covered
Some conditions are not covered by workers’ compensation, even when they occur at work. For example, workers injured during horseplay or taking part in a prank may not be eligible for coverage even when the injury occurred at the workplace.
In some cases, a worker may not receive coverage while driving in a company car if they were acting outside of the scope of their employment. Employers often rely on these exceptions to deny claims, so it is valuable to understand them.