In a typical workers’ compensation case in Boston, claimants are generally precluded from filing a civil personal injury lawsuit. This is because the workers’ compensation system was set up as a single-recovery system. That means the only source of financial recovery from an employer following a workplace accident or work-related illness is workers’ compensation.
However, this provision does not pertain to negligent third parties. In other words, if someone who does not work for the same company and not is claimant’s employer shared fault, that person or company can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit. A workers’ compensation insurer may put a lien on certain damages you might recover from this third-party lawsuit, but most claimants receive more in civil litigation than they do from workers’ compensation.
In these cases, a claimant must first file a workers’ compensation claim with his or her employer, and must do so in a timely manner pursuant to Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.), and then can settle the matter with the negligent third party, their insurance company, or in the event a settlement cannot be reached, file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent third party. Continue reading