Articles Posted in Massachusetts Work Accident

Anytime someone is injured on-the-job in Massachusetts, the first course of action is typically a workers’ compensation claim. Pursuant to MGL c. 152 section 25A, most employers in the Commonwealth are required to purchase workers’ compensation that will provide coverage to employees who are injured at work or contract a job-related illness. This insurance provides no-fault coverage of reasonable and necessary medical treatment and lost wages (after the first five calendar days) or partial or full disability benefits and retaining for those workers who qualify. workers' compensation attorney

However, you may an option to pursue something called third-party liability if another party – not your employer or co-worker – was fully or partially responsible for what happened. If you have grounds to pursue a third-party claim, note that your workers’ compensation insurer and/ or health insurance company may file a lien on whatever you are ultimately awarded. This is allowed so that injured workers’ don’t collect double recovery (i.e., your workers’ comp insurer paid your medical bills and then you are subsequently awarded damages for medical bills in your third-party lawsuit). But that doesn’t mean these cases aren’t worth pursuing. In fact, it’s usually a good idea because third party litigation will allow you to obtain coverage for losses not included in workers’ compensation benefits. These would include things like damages for pain and suffering, full lost wages (workers’ compensation will only pay up to 60 percent of gross average weekly wage for temporary total incapacity benefits for up to 156 weeks, etc.), loss of consortium (for your spouse) and sometimes punitive damages.

That’s not the only difference. While workers’ compensation claimants do not need to prove fault – only that the injury occurred in the course and scope of one’s employment – third party liability lawsuits are just like any other injury lawsuit in that you must prove negligence. In many cases these claims are against contractors or subcontractors, owners of the property on which you were injured (if different from your employer), manufacturers of defective or dangerous tools or motor vehicle operators. Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys will help you review all of your legal options, identify possible defendants and give you a sense of what damages you can reasonably pursue.  Continue reading

In Boston, a worker injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits so long as they are an employee within the meaning of the the workers’ compensation act found in Chapter 152, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L).  The question that often arises is whether the worker was actually on-the-job at the time of the injury.  This can be even more complex when the employee is given a company-owned vehicle or when the injury occurs in the parking lot of the worker’s place of employment.

In the context of company-owned vehicles, some jobs offer the “benefit” of a take home car, meaning the employee can drive the business’s car home at the end of a shift and take it back the next day.  This is not so much a “company car” as we see on TV with high-paying jobs, but more like a police car or other type of service vehicle.

Boston workplace InjuriesAccording to a recent news article from NECN, a worker employed by the City of Boston was sitting in a vehicle owned by his employer, the city, when someone approached and shot him.  Authorities have said the injured worker was in his neighborhood at the time of the shooting on his way to work and is a 54-year-old man who works for Department of Public Works (DPW).  Continue reading

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

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

In a recent case form the Iowa Supreme Court, a worker who was injured on the job was seeking a permanent total disability (PTD) rating.  He was also seeking what is known as a partial computation of benefits via a lump sum benefits award.

workers' compensation lawyer Boston In this case, worker was injured while on the job and this resulted in permanent paralysis. His employer, through its workers’ compensation insurance company, argued that claimant was not entitled to a PTD status and also refused to pay lump sum benefits.  At this point, plaintiff filed a workers’ compensation lawsuit, as he alleged employer acted in bad faith when denying the claims, and, under state laws, this allowed him to seek compensatory plus punitive damages.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff, complete with punitive damages. However, on appeal, the court reversed, holding that punitive damages were not appropriate. Continue reading

A recent article from Huffington Post features a commentary from a labor union president arguing that safety violations resulting in the death of workers should be punishable by prison time instead of mere fines, as if often the case. Every 12 days, a member of his union or one of their coworkers is killed in a workplace accident. This, he says, has been the status quo for a long time.

truckThe deaths he is talking about are not only preventable, but quite horrific.  He discusses how workers are crushed by heavy equipment, drowned in vats of toxic chemicals or even burned to death.  After these deaths occur, they will happen again and again to other workers, and this is what he is trying to stop. Continue reading

The death of a worker  in Massachusetts at a used auto part company was deemed preventable, according to a review by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration. The work-related fatality was reportedly the direct result of the company’s failure to adhere to proper safety training standards.tires

The worker was reportedly inflating a tire at the store, located in Bellingham, when all of the sudden, he was hit hard in the head by a “chain come-a-long,” which is a device commonly used to affix rim wheels onto tires.

This was at the end of October of last year. The worker died less than two weeks later.  OSHA’s investigation, conducted by local inspectors, concluded the company did not provide adequate training to the worker and other employees, and also failed in the responsibility to make sure there were proper safeguards on the equipment.  Continue reading

In Massachusetts, the workers’ compensation system is codified in a section of the Massachusetts General Laws known as the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA). The WCA provides that whenever an employee is injured on the job, that injured employee shall be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and the worker shall not be required to prove the employer was negligent in connection with the workplace injury.

shipThis is beneficial to the employee, because it will often take much less time to get approved for a workers’ compensation claim than it would take to settle a civil personal injury or to take the case to trial, should a fair and appropriate settlement not be reached. However, as an advantage to the employer, the employee is not able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit after an on-the-job injury in the vast majority of cases.  This limits their exposure, as there are no damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages.   Continue reading

When we think about a person who is injured on the job and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, we are often thinking of any employee who suffered some type of traumatic injury while at work.  This could be when a person falls at work, or a heavy object hits them on the head, or it can even be from exposure to caustic chemicals, since a person can get workers’ compensation benefits from a work-related illness.

handHowever, one of the more common workplace injuries is often overlooked, and people do not make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits when they probably should.  This is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is a common type of repetitive stress injury (RSI) caused by performing the same or similar tasks on a regular basis throughout the day for many workdays. Continue reading

In Capital Builders Hardware v. WCAB, a case from the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellant District, claimant was injured in an industrial accident while working for his employer, which is a major construction company. While the court opinion does not specify how he was injured or the type of injury he sustained, we do know that he filed for workers’ compensation following his injury.

worker3After filing his workers’ compensation claim, his employer, through its workers’ compensation insurance company representative, filed a motion to exclude the admission of a particular medical report into the record in this case.  The administrative judge at the workers’ compensation commission denied the employer’s request to exclude the medical report and indicated that his dismissal was without prejudice. Continue reading