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When we think of workplace injuries in terms of Boston workers’ compensation cases, we are generally dealing with some type of accident. In many cases, it is simply an accident that was not anyone’s fault.  In some cases, the accident is actually the result of an employer’s negligence.  There is really is no distinction with respect to workers’ compensation cases because Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L) established a no-fault system.  There is however, a third category of workplace injuries where one worker is physically assaulted by an other employee, customer, or third-party criminal.

Boston workplace Injuries These situations happen more frequently than you might assume.  There are a lot of assaults between employees in jobs in Boston and across the nation. While there are the high profile cases involving active shooter situations that occur from time to time, we are generally talking about one worker punching another.  Contrary to what many people think and see in the movies, a single punch can result in serious injury or even death. Continue reading

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Opioid addiction has become a major epidemic in Boston and across the U.S.  It is also become a hot topic for politicians and media outlets. While Massachusetts has long suffered from a major problem with heroin addiction,  many times it begins with workers injured on the job who start taking painkillers such as opioids like Vicodin and Oxycontin.  Once these injured workers become hooked on painkillers, the habit is often very difficult kick, even once the drugs are no longer medically necessary to fight the pain from the initial injury.

Boston workers' compensation lawyerIn an effort to address this issue, as discussed in a recent news article from the Union Leader, New Hampshire is looking to follow Massachusetts’ lead with respect to the two-year pilot program they started to get injured workers off dangerous and addictive opioids.  Continue reading

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Boston and the surrounding areas in New England are known for extremely cold winters with temperatures that fall below zero, but it is the strong winds that often wreak the most havoc on our area.  We are regularly dealing with blocked streets and power outages due to downed trees. This causes road hazards, but it can also knock out heat, which can be a deadly problem.  While most of us of would rather stay inside during the worst of the winter weather, the many tree workers in Boston must brave the worst conditions. It’s a very dangerous job that can result in serious personal injury of even death.  For these workers and their families, a Boston workers’ compensation case is often the only remedy available for financial recovery.

Workers’ Compensation Benefit Types

workers' compensationIn a Boston workers’ compensation case, the type of benefits will depend on the extent of the injuries, and the amount of time it will take a worker to recover, or if the injuries are likely to be permanent.   Depending on the extent and duration of the injuries, possible benefits in a Boston workers’ compensation are as follows:

  • Lost wages
    • Permanent Partial Impairment
    • Permanent Total Impairment
    • Temporary Partial Impairment
    • Permanent Total Impairment
  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Occupational therapy expenses
  • Burial expenses in fatal workplace accidents or illness cases
  • Damages for Specific Injuries

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When a worker is injured on-the-job in Boston, he or she should immediately report the injury to a supervisor or the employer.  And if that worker desires to be compensated for medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation including physical or occupational therapy, and to recover for lost wages due to time away from work, the only course of action in most to cases is to promptly file a workers’ compensation claim.

One issue that often arises is when the claimant has a pre-existing condition aggravated by a work-related injury.

Categories of Workplace Injuries in Boston

workers' compensation lawyerThere are two main categories of workplace injuries in Boston workers’ compensation cases. One category of workplace injuries involves damage caused by a single traumatic event.  For example, if an employee is working in the stockroom of a big box store, there is a good chance someone else will be be moving around with a pallet jack or forklift.  If the employee is working in the back and a pallet jack runs over his foot, the heavy metal casters with a heavy pallet sitting on top could easily break a toe or other bones in the foot if the worker is not wearing a steel-toed shoe or boot.  This type of accident happens all the time.  The United States Department of Labor (DOL) keeps detailed statistics on pallet jack injuries in the U.S., and as we can see from the data, some of these resulted in amputations. Continue reading

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When a worker is killed on the job, many do not realize that workers’ compensation is still the appropriate – and maybe only – remedy for surviving family members to obtain compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses and lost wages. Pursuant to Chapter 152, of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L), all of these types of recovery are available, however there is no possibility to recovery damages for pain and suffering unless there is a third-party defendant. Examples of this would be:

  • A worker killed in a car accident caused by another negligent driver;
  • A worker killed in a construction accident wherein the owner of the property (or other party aside from employer) was negligent;
  • A worker killed in an accident involving a defective product or defective vehicle.

work accidents BostonAccording to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, a man was killed in South Boston when he was on top of a crane. The construction site accident occurred around rush hour in front of crowds of passersby and other construction workers. Continue reading

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According to a recent news report from NBC News, a man was working on constructing prototypes for President Trump’s planned wall between the U.S. and Mexico border.  While there is no funding for an actual wall at this time, there was funding already in the budget for border security that is being used to construct a series of prototype walls that are supposed to be helpful in deciding on how to construct the actual border wall should U.S. Congress approve funding.

Boston Workers' CompWhile this worker was helping to construct one of the prototypes, he lost his footing and fell into a 40 foot deep hole.  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), the accident was the workers’ fault because he was allegedly not paying attention and fell into the deep hole.  Somehow, the man was not injured in the accident.  Other construction workers were able to pull him out using a construction hoist and he was back on his feet in no time.  Once the worker was back on his feet and there was no need to stop construction work as nobody was injured.  This was one of four prototype walls that are being constructed for feasibility testing. Continue reading

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A construction worker was recently seriously injured when he was hit by a heavy beam while working a job site in New York. Authorities reported the beam was suspended about two stories off the ground by riggers who were working on a the construction of a fairly large building.

workers' compensation lawyer BostonThe investigation reveals that the beam was being hoisted up when he cables securing came lose and the beam dropped.  Investigators believe that one of the critical support cables may have snapped causing the remaining support cables to come lose from the beam.

When it comes to construction accident injuries, workers’ compensation is an issue that should be carefully explored because often, such workers are classified as “independent contractors.” That could mean one wouldn’t be entitled to benefits. However, employee misclassification happens all too often, and shouldn’t be overlooked as a possibility. Further, injured construction site workers may have grounds to assert a third-party liability claim for additional compensation.

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In some of the worst types of on the job accidents, claimants are killed or suffer a severe personal injury.  A severe personal injury in a Boston workplace accident can include the amputation or loss of function in a hand, arm, leg, foot, finger, or toe.

shoulder injury lawyerIn addition to the standard workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and medical bills, the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Section 152, Chapter 36 provides for a single lump sum award for specific injuries.  This can include various types of injuries such as loss of limbs or extremities. Continue reading

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There is no need to prove any fault on behalf of an employer to collect workers’ compensation in Boston, and it would not matter if there was fault on the part of the employer.  The system was set up to be no-fault.  All that is necessary is to establish  that claimant was injured on the job and claimant was an employee at the time of the workplace accident.

An employee in Boston workers’ compensation cases

work accidents Boston In the Massachusetts workers’ compensation act there is a definitions sections as there is with most other chapters in the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL).  In Chapter 152, Section 1, we find this definitions section. Pursuant to section 1, an employee is generally defined as a person who is hired under a contract to perform services for another. There are various exceptions such as taxi cab drivers, but for the most part, this issues involves whether injured worker is a contractor or an employee. Continue reading

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In a typical workers’ compensation case in Boston, claimant is working and gets injured.  Once claimant is injured, he or she should immediately inform a supervisor of the workplace accident.  This is essential because if the supervisor doesn’t report the accident there will be no record of claimant being injured. When claimant applies for workers’ compensation benefits, employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may deny the claim for not being put on notice.

Boston work accident lawyerPursuant to Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws, workers’ compensation insurance company has between 15 and 30 days to either pay benefits for lost wages and medical bills or to deny the claim.  If a claim is denied, claimant must file an appeal with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).  Continue reading