Personal Injury Lawsuits If you have been injured on the job site in Massachusetts, you may be wondering how to…
Don’t Wait. Insurers only have 14 days to pay or deny your claim. Learn how to improve your chances of having your claim approved.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER FOR LOWELL AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES
Workers’ Compensation Is All I Do.
I have dedicated my career almost exclusively to the practice of workers’ compensation. Whether your debilitating injury is from repetitive stress or excessive noise, our firm can pursue compensation for you.
If you’ve been injured, call me! I will speak with you directly and will be your contact throughout your case. You won’t be handed off to junior attorneys or staff. I only receive a fee if you get paid.
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY
workers' comp news & INSIGHTS
LET'S GET STARTED
WORKERS' COMPENSATION FAQS
It is critical to contact a lawyer whose practice is focused on workers’ compensation law as soon as possible after a work injury. Even if you’re not contemplating hiring a work injury lawyer, you should take advantage of a free consultation so that you are informed of what is going to happen and what you need to do, and so that you can learn if legal counsel may be beneficial for your case.
I have been handling workers’ compensation claims almost exclusively since 1986. What I have seen in that time is that most injured workers contact me after their claim has been denied by the insurer or their weekly benefit checks have been terminated. At that point, a claim must be filed with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA,) and it could take many months before a Judge hears the claim. In the interim, an injured worker can suffer severe financial hardship as the result of not receiving disability payments, and medical complications if needed medical treatment is stopped. If you have been injured at work, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation.
You have been injured on the job. Your first thought should be to get medical treatment. You should then make sure your employer is notified of the injury, even if you think it is a minor injury that will heal in a few days.
Many times, what seems like a minor injury becomes more serious over time. Early notice of an injury will go a long way to having the claim paid instead of denied.
You next need to focus on securing payment for medical treatment and lost compensation (if you are unable to work) in accordance with Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. If you are going to miss more than five days of work, you will be entitled to workers’ compensation for lost wages.
Do not assume that your employer or the insurance company will do the right thing and provide the benefits that are owed under the law. They will naturally have an incentive to minimize their costs, which may affect how you are treated.
The first couple of weeks after an injury are important. Once a workers’ compensation insurer is notified that an injured worker has been disabled for five days, they then have fourteen days to pay or deny the claim. If the workers’ compensation insurer is not provided with medical documents confirming the injured worker is disabled and the disability is from the work injury, they will deny the claim.
Injured workers should not rely on the insurer to seek medical records for them. It will usually be in the best interest of an insurer to delay making payments, which is likely why they may not seek out the required medical records needed to start paying the claim. The insurer will deny the claim and force the injured worker to file with the DIA and wait months for a Judge to decide the case. Such delay may financially force the injured worker back to work before they are fully healed.
Once they are notified that an injured worker has been incapacitated for at least five days, the insurance companies must begin paying workers within 14 calendar days of notification or deny the claim (in which case, they must notify the injured worker of such denial within that time frame). However, if an injury is severe and may have a long-term impact on the employee’s ability to work, a complete review of the case can take several months or longer, depending upon the severity of the injury.
The timeline depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, and the level of cooperation from the insurance company. Retaining an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can significantly improve the chances of a workers’ compensation claim being approved in the early stages. If a claim is denied at the initial Conference with a Judge, it may require an appeal, which can extend the timeline considerably. Thus, getting legal assistance from the outset can help streamline the process and avoid potential setbacks.
The payment for a workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts depends on many factors, such as the nature and severity of the injury, a worker’s average weekly wage, whether the worker is permanently disabled, and other factors, such as medical expenses.
In Massachusetts, injured workers may receive a portion of their average weekly wage, reimbursement for medical costs, and in some cases, compensation for permanent impairments.
Massachusetts law prescribes financial compensation for disabled workers, as follows:
- Workers who are totally and permanently incapacitated from performing gainful employment will receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW is determined by averaging their gross pay for the fifty-two weeks prior to the date of injury. If the injured worker earned less than $5.00 or no wages for two weeks or more, then the average is determined by the actual week’s wages were earned. There is a maximum benefit cap set at the State Average Weekly Wage, and a minimum of 20% of the state average weekly wage at the time of their injury. An annual cost of living adjustment may also be payable.
- Workers who are considered temporarily totally incapacitated will receive around 60% of their AWW for up to 156 weeks. Payment begins on the sixth day of disability unless they cannot work for 21 days or more, in which case benefits are paid for those first five days. Those days aren’t required to be consecutive.
- Workers who are considered partially incapacitated may receive up to 60% of the difference between their average weekly wage and what they can earn with their disability. This benefit can be paid for up to 260 weeks. The benefit periods for both Temporary Total and Partial Incapacity are capped at 364 weeks, with a couple of exceptions.
Yes. Massachusetts workers’ compensation insurers have the right to have an individual evaluated by a doctor of their choosing for an Independent Medical Examination (IME). So, while an injured worker can obtain an IME by a physician of their choice, they must also see the physician designated by the insurance company.
After reporting an injury to an employer, the employer should report it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier, who then assigns a claim number to a case. This claim number should be used for all medical treatment related to the work injury.
Under Massachusetts law, if an individual is unable to earn full wages for five or more full or partial calendar days due to a work-related injury or illness, an employer must report the injury to its insurance carrier within five business days. Once reported, the insurer has 14 calendar days to either start paying benefits or notify the individual in writing that the claim is being denied. As a workers’ compensation attorney, I ensure that these deadlines are met, and if not, I seek to hold insurance companies accountable when they do not comply with the law.