Most employers attempt to create safe work environments for their employees, but injuries and illnesses frequently arise due to workplace conditions regardless. Work-related injuries and illnesses not only cause pain and suffering but also often cause significant financial losses as well. Luckily, many Massachusetts workers who suffer work-related harm can recover workers’ compensation benefits to help offset their damages. If you were injured at work or contracted a work-related illness, it is smart to speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your right to pursue benefits. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a seasoned Bristol County workers’ compensation lawyer with the knowledge and skills needed to help you seek the maximum benefits available, and if you hire him, he will work diligently to help you pursue a just outcome. Mr. Meehan frequently represents employees in workers’ compensation claims in Bristol County, and in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties as well.Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), all employers must secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The Act also defines eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Specifically, the Act provides that a person must be an employee to recover benefits. In other words, independent contractors, volunteers, certain salespeople, and other parties listed as exceptions under the Act are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Further, only employees that suffer work-related harm qualify for benefits under the Act. The courts interpret this to mean that there must be a causal link between the employment and the injury or illness sustained by the worker. Additionally, people who are hurt at work must provide their employers with written notice of their harm as soon as possible; otherwise, they may waive the right to recover benefits. Any claim for benefits must be filed within four years of when the employee became aware that his or her harm was work-related. If you were hurt at work, you should speak to a Bristol County lawyer skilled at handling workers’ compensation claims to determine if you may be owed benefits.Benefits Recoverable Under Massachusetts’ Workers’ Compensation Act
Eligible employees may be granted a multitude of workers’ compensation benefits. For example, they may recover medical benefits for any treatment that is deemed reasonable, suitable, and related to the subject injury or illness.
Injured employees who are unable to work may also recover disability benefits, which may be partial or total and temporary or permanent. Temporary total benefits are paid when an employee cannot work for at least five days due to a work-related injury or illness, at a rate of sixty percent of the employee’s average weekly wage before the injury, subject to minimum and maximum limits. Temporary total benefits may be paid for up to 156 weeks.
Employees who can still work but not at their pre-harm level may be granted temporary partial benefits, which are generally paid at a rate equal to sixty percent of the difference between their pre-injury average weekly wage and what they are capable of earning post-injury, within certain parameters. Typically, temporary partial benefits will not be paid for more than 260 weeks, but they may be extended in certain cases.
Employees who suffer an enduring and complete incapacity to work may receive permanent and total benefits for as long as their disabilities endure, which may be the rest of their lives. Permanent and total benefits are paid at a rate of two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage prior to the injury, as long as that amount does not exceed the state maximum weekly compensation rate or fall below the minimum weekly compensation rate.Speak to a Trusted Bristol County Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Injuries and illnesses that arise in the workplace often cause substantial physical and financial harm, but workers’ compensation benefits may help to mitigate the losses suffered. If you were hurt at work, you should speak to an attorney about what benefits you may be able to recover. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a trusted lawyer who is proficient at helping injured employees seek workers’ compensation benefits, and if he represents you, he will advocate assertively on your behalf. Mr. Meehan’s office is located in Taunton, and he often represents injured employees in Bristol County and in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties as well. You can contact Mr. Meehan through the form online or by calling 508-822-6600 to set up a confidential and free meeting.