Salem Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workplace injuries can cause severe harm to employees. Furthermore, the cost of medical expenses and lost wages stemming from workplace injuries can be devastating to injured workers. Accordingly, Massachusetts law provides that employers in Salem are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance for their employees.
Workers’ Compensation insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages suffered because of a workplace injury. The types of benefits available to injured workers in Salem will depend on the extent of their injuries. However, insurance companies might attempt to decrease the value of Workers’ Compensation claims. Our Salem Workers Compensation lawyer can help fight insurance companies so victims of workplace injuries might receive the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured on the job or became ill because of your job in Salem, get help from Salem Workers’ Compensation lawyers and receive your free case review by calling The Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.
Dangerous Industries in and Around Salem Where Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Common
While Salem can be a hotspot for workplace accidents, the towns surrounding Salem are also known for having several dangerous industries. The following are some of the most hazardous industries in and around Salem:
The city of Salem and its neighboring towns boast a rich history of manufacturing industries that have flourished over the years. These industries, which include textile mills and factories producing leather goods, require heavy machinery and often involve potentially hazardous working conditions, leading to accidents and injuries.
In addition to manufacturing, the region is also home to numerous construction projects, both residential and commercial. Construction sites are notorious for their inherent risks, such as falls from heights, scaffolding collapses, and accidents involving heavy equipment that can cause serious injuries or even fatalities.
Peabody is a small town located near Salem. The town has a rich history of leather goods manufacturing, which has been an integral part of its economy for many years. Workers in this industry are often exposed to various risks, including operating heavy machinery, handling harmful chemicals, and performing repetitive tasks that can lead to strain injuries.
Workers are generally required to follow strict safety protocols and wear protective gear to minimize the risks associated with their work. Nonetheless, the industry remains an essential part of Peabody’s history and economy, and the town continues to thrive because of its rich heritage and skilled workforce.
Danvers, a town neighboring Salem, is well-known for its bustling transportation and warehousing industry. This sector is responsible for managing the flow of goods and materials by road, rail, air, and sea.
Employees working in this industry face a variety of risks, including driving accidents because of the heavy flow of traffic, loading and unloading heavy cargo, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, and working in potentially hazardous warehouse environments where exposure to chemicals, fires, and falls can occur. It is crucial for employers in this sector to prioritize worker safety by providing appropriate training, personal protective equipment, and monitoring for potential hazards.
Lynn operates multiple healthcare facilities, providing essential medical services to the community. Healthcare workers in these facilities are exposed to a range of hazards that can potentially compromise their health and safety. These hazards include exposure to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, as well as needlestick injuries, patient handling injuries, and workplace violence.
These risks can result in a variety of injuries, illnesses, and long-term health issues, which can have a significant impact on the affected workers’ quality of life and ability to perform their job duties. It is, therefore, essential that healthcare facilities take steps to mitigate these risks and ensure the safety and well-being of their employees.
Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries in Salem
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 data, there were 2.9 workplace injuries for every 100 workers. Workplace injuries can come in many forms. However, certain categories of workplace injury are more common than others. Employers in Salem should take steps to protect their employees from the following categories of workplace injury. Furthermore, workers who have suffered any of the following injuries should contact a Salem Workers’ Compensation lawyer to review their potential claim.
Lacerations are deep cuts or tears in the flesh. Lacerations can occur in any industry but occur more frequently in manufacturing, machine shops, food production, and restaurants. To help avoid lacerations, employees should be advised on appropriate procedures to follow and safety gear to wear. Further, businesses should replace dull blades for work tasks to help prevent potential injuries.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains involve stretched or torn ligaments, while strains involve stretched or torn muscle ligaments. Any type of falling, twisting, or pulling can cause sprain or strain injuries. Improper lifting or ergonomics are common causes of sprain or strain injuries in the workplace. Employers should educate employees on relevant lifting and ergonomics guidelines from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration to prevent such injuries.
Contusions are bruises or marks on the skin caused by blood trapped under the surface that crushes small blood vessels but does not open the skin. In the workplace, this type of injury commonly occurs when employees drop objects because of improper lifting or when they run into things. Employers should conduct regular training to review proper ergonomics and environmental awareness, which can usually prevent these sorts of injuries. Furthermore, machine guarding and lockout-tagout procedures are also helpful practices that can help prevent these injuries.
Burns are injuries to tissue caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, steam, sunlight, or radiation. Burn injuries are most common in restaurants. However, burns also occur frequently in manufacturing and production, especially when heat sources, acids, or bases are part of the manufacturing process. Furthermore, burns can also occur internally when inhaling smoke or chemical fumes. Since burn injuries can vary, employers should conduct regular training sessions with employees regarding the protocols for treating all types of burns.
Eye injuries can occur in any industry. Employers must provide employees with adequate eye and face protection against chemical, environmental, and radiological hazards or mechanical irritants. Furthermore, employers should conduct a workplace hazard assessment and provide adequate training for all workers who require eye and face protection.
Fractures and Breaks
Fractures are breaks in the bone of any degree because of forced trauma or overuse. These types of injuries are most common in occupations involving manual labor and exposure to heavy equipment and machinery. However, fracture injuries can occur in many other industries. Employers can help prevent these industries by providing proper training and supervision. In a job where moving heavy equipment is common, increased supervision or spotting by other employees can help prevent fracture injuries.
Cumulative or Continuous Trauma
Cumulative or continuous trauma involves the degradation of a body part, joints, muscles, or tendons as a result of a repeated task over a long period of time. These injuries are most common with workers who have long careers in manual labor positions. Appropriate training and recovery between injuries can help prevent cumulative or continuous trauma injuries from occurring in the workplace.
Types of Benefits Available in Salem Workers’ Compensation Cases
Workers who are injured on the job have various types of Workers’ Compensation benefits available to them. Each type of benefit covers different types of injury and involves different benefit amounts. For example, if a worker breaks their arm and is unable to work for several months, they might qualify for temporary partial incapacity benefits. On the other hand, a worker who developed cancer because of their job might qualify for permanent and total incapacity benefits.
Determining which benefits are available in a particular case can be difficult. A Salem Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help victims of workplace injuries review their case and determine which benefits might apply to them. The following are four categories of Workers’ Compensation benefits that might be available to employees who were injured on the job in Salem:
Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits
In Salem, if you are unable to perform your work duties because of a work-related injury or illness, you might be eligible to receive temporary total incapacity (TTI) benefits. These benefits, which are also referred to as temporary total disability in other locations, do not commence until you have been absent from work for at least five days unless your inability to work lasts for more than 21 days.
You will continue to receive TTI benefits until one of three things occurs: you return to work, your physician confirms that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which indicates that your condition is unlikely to improve with additional medical treatment, or you have received these payments for a period of three years.
The amount of TTI payments you receive each week is calculated as 60% of your average weekly wage before your injury or illness, subject to a maximum and minimum based on the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time of your injury. If your pre-injury wages are less than the minimum, you will receive the full amount of your pre-injury wages.
Temporary Partial Incapacity Benefits
Salem workers who have been injured or fallen ill and are unable to earn their earlier wages might be eligible for temporary partial incapacity benefits. These benefits offer weekly payments that amount to 60% of the difference between pre-injury wages and current earning capacity, with a maximum cap of 75% of TTI benefits. If the sum of your earnings and partial incapacity benefits exceeds twice the SAWW amount, your benefits might be reduced.
These benefits continue until you can earn your normal wage or until you have received them for five years, whichever comes first. However, if your injury has resulted in certain types of permanent disability, such as at least 75% vision loss in one or both eyes that cannot be corrected, at least 75% loss or lost use of a limb, an occupational disease that is permanently disabling, or any physical condition that is permanently life-threatening, you might be eligible for an extension of up to ten years.
Permanent and Total Incapacity Benefits
If you sustain an injury or illness that renders you permanently unable to work and medical professionals confirm it, you might be eligible for weekly payments throughout your disability. The amount of these payments will be calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wage and will be subject to the same maximum and minimum limits that apply to temporary total benefits.
This means that you will receive an amount proportional to your previous earnings while also ensuring that you have a minimum safety net in place. These benefits are designed to offer financial support during a difficult and uncertain time and can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty associated with a permanent disability.
Scarring, Disfigurement, or Loss of Function Benefits
In the unfortunate event of an accident that leads to permanent disfigurement or scarring, you might be eligible for scarring or loss of function benefits. These benefits are usually a one-time payment in addition to any workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
Calculating benefits for permanent loss of function and disfigurement can be a complex process. Still, it is generally determined by calculating the state’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident and multiplying it by a factor based on the injury’s severity. The more severe the injury, the higher the factor used to determine the benefits.
If You Suffered a Workplace Injury in Salem, Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case analysis with our Workers’ Compensation lawyers.