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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

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Bone injuries that occur while on the job can lead to a considerable amount of time out of work, as well as some complex litigation in a Boston workers’ compensation case.

Common types of bone injuries include:

  • Stable fracture
  • Open/ compound fracture
  • Transverse fracture
  • Oblique fracture
  • Comminuted fracture

In workers’ compensation cases, the most common causes of bone fractures are trauma and overuse.

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The fact that doctors have the ability to make such a precise diagnosis is good news for their patients in terms of eventually healing and getting back to work. However, workers’ compensation insurance companies are often not on the same page.

Independent Medical Exams

 

In many workers’ compensation cases, claimant will be treated by his or her doctors and then those records are sent to the insurance company.  Insurer will review these records and then probably send one of their own doctors from company’s list of preferred physicians. Although this doctor is referred to as an “independent examiner,” he or she is paid by the insurer to review the medical records, and in many cases, perform his or her own quick examination on the claimant. Continue reading

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In most injuries that happen to employees on the job in Boston, the worker will miss some time at work, receive medical treatment and then return to work.  However, there are some cases of on-the-job injuries where the claimant suffers a permanent loss of function to a particular body part, organ, or sense.

stethascopeIn some cases, the loss of function will fall under a category known as “Specific Injuries,” as defined in Chapter 152, Section 36 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) , which is the workers’ compensation act for the Commonwealth.  Continue reading

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In Baker v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board, a case from the California Court of Appeal, claimant was initially injured while working as a construction laborer. While this case deals with a lump sum payment of benefits and his disability rating, this would be a good time to discuss a major issue that often comes up in cases in Boston in which construction workers are injured.

Employee v. Independent Contractor

Boston workers' CompensationIn order to collect workers’ compensation benefits, you must be an employee, and you must have suffered an on-the-job injury or suffered from a work-related illness. However, as we have said in various other posts on this Boston workers’ compensation blog, while you can get workers’ compensation for an illness that is due to your occupation, the vast majority of workers’ compensation cases involve accidents that occur on the job. This is not to say that there are never any workers’ compensation benefits paid for work-related illness. Continue reading

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When you are injured on the job in Boston, if you wish to be compensated for your time, you cannot work, and, to pay for your past and future medical bills, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer.

workers' compensation lawyer BostonThere is a process established in Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), which makes up the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA).  Pursuant to the various sections of Chapter 152 of the MGL, you must first report the injury to your employer and make sure it generates an accident report. If you are in need of medical attention or missing work as a result of the workplace accident, or both, you must file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. Continue reading

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Electrical General Corp. v LaBonte

In a recent case from the Maryland Court of Appeals, which is the state supreme court for that jurisdiction, a claimant was originally injured while he was at work for his employer.  The accident occurred when he caught a ladder that was falling. He caught the ladder to prevent it from injuring him or his co-workers and pushed it back up against a wall to keep if from falling.

Workers' Comp BostonThis ladder was 40 feet in length and weighed over 300 pounds.  For this reason, when he saw it falling and was about to land on people, he did what he could to prevent that, but we are talking about a considerable amount of weight at very awkward angle. When he managed to stop the ladder from falling, he testified that he could feel a shift in his back, which then turned in to considerable and constant back pain.  He switched to a light duty position at the company, and then, when things did not get better, he had surgery on his back. Continue reading

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When you are injured on the job in the Greater Boston area, you will likely have to turn to workers’ compensation, as it is the exclusive remedy for the clear majority of workplace injury cases.

Workers’ Compensation is An Exclusive Remedy

upset injured workers Boston When a worker is an employee within the meaning of the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), which generally means they are not an independent contractor, and he or she is injured on the job in Boston, that worker is generally prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit.  The reason for this because employers around the country began to lobby to their respective state representatives that there should be a system to protect workers who were injured. Continue reading