Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Massachusetts and Third Party Claims
The Law office of Daniel A. Pava has helped injured workers obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits for their injuries through Workers’ Compensation as well as civil litigation. Let us put our more than 34 years of experience to work for you in getting the answers you need and the recovery you deserve. Call us today at 413-781-8700 and receive a free legal consultation.
Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation System
Massachusetts workers’ compensation law is governed by Massachusetts General Law c. 152, which provides for recovery regardless of fault. In essence, a worker who is hurt on the job becomes eligible for medical benefits and, in many cases, disability benefits that replace lost wages. Benefits also are available to a surviving spouse and dependents if a worker is killed due to a work-related accident or illness. Vocational retraining is available, too, in many cases where an on-the-job injury prevents a worker from returning to the worker’s previous occupation.
Common Worker’s Compensation Injuries:
- Industrial and manufacturing accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Car accidents on the job
- Back injuries from handling heavy loads
- Repetitive motion injuries on assembly lines
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome from data entry
Mechanics of a workers’ compensation claim
If you find out that your claim has been denied or that your employer has failed to follow the appropriate steps, you may need to file a dispute with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
To do so, there are a few steps you need to take, including:
- Conciliation session: This is an informal nonbinding session through which you can discuss the claim estimate and, if needed, dispute it.
- Conference: This is another informal discussion that occurs when your case moves forward from conciliation to an administrative law judge. If the matter is not settled here, the next step is a temporary order regarding compensation, which both parties can also dispute.
- Hearing: If the case is appealed, a formal hearing takes place involving evidence and testimony (similar to a normal court proceeding).
- Review board: This is the last option for appeal available and a review board administers it, rather an administrative law judge. The previous decision may only be repealed if the board finds it was beyond the judge’s authority or it was unfounded.
Pursuing Third Party Claims in appropriate circumstances
Sometimes, there may be additional parties against whom a tort, a personal injury action, can be brought. That recovery provides for broader compensation but it is based upon negligence or fault, which is not the case when pursuing a workers’ compensation case against one’s own employer.
For a free case evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim, please contact me online or call (413) 781-8700 to speak with Attorney Daniel A. Pava. He has more than 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of individuals injured in the course of their employment.