What is New in Workers’ Compensation in Boston?

There have been several new developments in the area of workers’ compensation laws in Boston. If you have suffered an injury on the job, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation in Boston. People injured on the job have a right to collect compensation. All Massachusetts employers are required to purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy. When employees become injured, the insurance policy will pay for medical costs associated with treating workplace injuries.

 

Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

A workers’ compensation insurance policy can also provide compensation for those injured employees who are unable to return to work. If you are interested in securing compensation for your workplace injuries, The Law Office of John J. Sheehan can help. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation. Read on to learn about recent developments in the area of Boston workers’ compensation. 

 

Early Care can Mitigate Mental Issues After Workers’ Compensation Injuries

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute focused on the topic of mental health and workplace injuries at a recent annual conference. The panel discussed how injuries in the workplace can lead to adverse mental health outcomes that can lead to extremely negative consequences. The panel discovered that employees injured in the workplace are at a greater risk of becoming addicted to drugs, suffering from depression or dying from suicide. 

One study found that women who suffered a workplace injury who needed to take time off of work were nearly three times more likely to die from a drug-related death. They were two times more likely to die from suicide than female employees who have not suffered from a workplace injury. Men who suffered workplace injuries that required time off of work are also more likely to experience suicide and drug-related deaths. The panel recommended using a “warm transfer system” in which workers’ compensation claim representatives discuss the struggles that workers experience during their recovery.

 

How a Changing Workplace Affects Boston Workers’ Compensation Claims

For decades, older workers have stayed on the job longer. The increasingly expensive costs of retirement have contributed to this trend. These changes to the U.S. workforce make it increasingly challenging for employers to provide satisfactory workers’ compensation policies. Older employees who are age 65 and up are more likely to suffer long-term hard from a workplace accident. 

The risk of workplace injuries is greater for older employees. The American workforce is not as healthy as it once was. Nearly 50% of all worker’s compensation claims are from injured workers who had a chronic condition prior to their injury. These factors add to the overall costs of the medical care system. Additionally, when employers fill the jobs of experienced older employees with younger, more inexperienced employees, the inexperienced employees may be more likely to suffer an injury. 

 

Workers’ Compensation Costs Keep Rising with Age

More employees than ever are staying in the workplace long after the retirement age. These changes present a challenge for the workers’ compensation industry. The average payments per workers’ compensation claim for those who are unable to work for seven or more days increase with age. For example, the average workers’ compensation payment for younger workers is $8,000. Yet, for workers age 65 and older, the average workers’ compensation payment is over $20,000. 

Nonetheless, younger workers are more likely to experience contact injuries in the workplace than employees age 65 and older. This may be due to the more risky nature of jobs performed by younger workers. Female workers tend to suffer from fractures at an earlier age than men and more often. 

 

Workplace Deaths in Massachusetts on the Rise

In 2016, a trench in South End collapsed, causing the deaths of two workers. A court convicted the owner of the workplace company of manslaughter because of the death of the employees. The company had a long history of safety violations, having been cited for hazardous conditions that led to the men’s death. The business also had a long history of violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

In Massachusetts, over 12 million OSHA violations have taken place. Many companies with OSHA violations enter into contracts with the state of Massachusetts. What does this all mean when it comes to worker’s compensation claims? The more dangerous the workplace, the more likely employees suffer workplace injuries that require workers’ compensation payments. 

In 2019, 47 workers died in workplace accidents while at work. Every year, over 70,000 workers in Massachusetts suffer injuries while on the job. Sadly, many workplace injuries are completely avoidable. The state of Massachusetts has made attempts to revoke the licenses of businesses with OSHA violations; however, workplace accidents and deaths continue to occur every year in Massachusetts. 

 

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts

If you have suffered a workplace injury in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation payments. However, if your employer engaged in negligent or reckless practices that caused your accident, you may also be entitled to compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Employers owe their employees a reasonable duty of care. When they breach that duty, they may be liable for injuries caused by their negligence. 

If you have suffered an injury at your workplace, you have a right to fight for all the compensation to which you may be entitled. You may be wondering which injuries are covered by workers’ compensation claims. Just because an injury occurred while you were at work does not mean that you can receive workers’ compensation payments from your employer’s insurance. Keep in mind that workers’ compensation payments will also cover some qualifying illnesses as well as workplace injuries. If you are wondering if you qualify for benefits, we can help. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.