Workers’ Compensation

Work Injury Attorney in Peabody

So much of our time is spent at work that the possibility of an accident at work is quite high.  One could slip and fall in an office or suffer other types of injuries.  Construction accidents are quite common, as there are many potentially dangerous conditions on construction sites.  If you’ve had a work injury of any type, you should contact us to talk about what to expect with regards to replacement wages and payment of your medical bills related to your injury.

Are you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

Almost all employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness or are a dependent of a worker killed on the job, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation pays medical bills related to the injury or illness, pays for lost wages, and in some cases provides vocational rehabilitation for workers who qualify. The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the Workers’ Compensation system in Massachusetts.

What to know

  • You must be disabled for five full or partial calendar days to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • The days don’t need to be consecutive.
  • You have four years from the date of injury or realization that your injury or illness is work-related to file a claim.
  • If you’re disabled for less than five full or partial calendar days, you can file a “medical only” claim.
  • Medical only claims are reported to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, not the DIA.
  • If the insurer denies your claim for benefits, even medical only claims, you can appeal it to the DIA.

Documentation of your injury is crucial in work injury cases.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a work-related accident, it’s extremely important to contact a qualified work injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident, so no documentation is missed that may be needed for your claim.

10 FAQs About Massachusetts Workers' Compensation

On-the-job injuries are part of working-life reality in Massachusetts. The state’s workers’ compensation system protects you against lost income for time away from work, but it does not provide complete coverage. Here are some FAQs about your rights and obligations as an injured worker:

How long must my injury last to qualify?

Your injury must keep you away from your job for five days before you are entitled to workers’ compensation. If your injury lasts more than 21 days, you are then entitled to compensation for the first five days, but not before.

How much is the maximum wage benefit?

The maximum and minimum benefits change annually. As of October 1, 2016, the maximum weekly benefit is $1,291.74, and the minimum is $258.35. You will receive a portion of your previous wages that is within these amounts.

This does not include benefits you may receive for medical care, such as prescription drugs and travel to and from appointments. You may also receive an additional benefit if you suffer scarring, disfigurement or permanent loss of bodily functions.

What if I have a part-time job?

If you are able to keep working at your second job, you must report the wages to your insurer. How that income will affect your benefits depends on whether or not you are also covered by Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation at your second job.

What about my on-the-job benefits?

The status of your health plan and other employment benefits is uncertain while you are receiving workers’ compensation. Your benefits may continue, but you may be required to pay a larger premium. An attorney can help you resolve these issues with your employer.

Can I see my own doctor?

Yes. However, the insurer may ask you to see a different doctor for an examination. You must comply with this request or risk losing your benefits.

What if my claim is denied?

You have the right to an appeal. The insurer will send you Form 104 (Insurer’s Notification of Denial) that states the reasons for denying your claim. The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents strongly recommends obtaining legal counsel if you decide to challenge the insurer’s decision.

What if my payments don't arrive?

Payments should come within 14 days of reaching an agreement with your insurer. If your checks are late, retain an attorney.

What if I return to work but have to leave again?

Your benefits stop if you return to work. But, if you have to leave again because of the same injury within 28 days, your benefits will restart. You must notify your insurer in writing within 21 days that you not working.

What if I want to go back to work but there's no job available?

Your benefits cease if your treating doctor says you are able to go back to work and there is a suitable job for you at your old workplace. Both must be the case for your benefits to stop, and the job you are going back to must be approved by your doctor.

Can I be fired while on Workers' Compensation?

Under state law, yes, although your union contract may prevent this. Employers in Massachusetts are obliged to prioritize rehiring injured workers when they are ready to get back on the job, regardless of unionization.

If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, an attorney is your best source of information about workers’ compensation benefits. When you are in need of an advocate for your interests, contact Konstantilakis Law P.C.