Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Karsner & Meehan, P.C. have over 30 years experience representing clients in various work-related accidents:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Repetitive Lifting
  • Repetitive Trauma
  • Repetitive Use
  • Tendonitis
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Emotional Injuries
  • Head Injuries
  • Brain Injuries
  • Neck Injuries
  • Back Injuries
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Wrist Injuries
  • Finger Injuries
  • Leg Injuries
  • Knee Injuries
  • Foot Injuries
  • Ankle Injuries
  • Hip Injuries
  • Fractures
  • Amputations
  • Broken Bones
  • Heart Attack
  • Allergies
  • Overuse Syndrome
  • Assault Injuries
  • Professional Athlete Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Occupational Diseases
  • Occupational Asthma
  • Occupational Asbestosis
  • Occupational Mesothelioma
  • Fire/Explosion Accidents
  • Burn Injuries
  • Scar Injuries
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Car Accidents
  • Rollover Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Tractor Trailer Accidents
  • Van Accidents
  • Bus Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Drunk Driving Accidents
  • Hit and Run Accidents
  • Premises Liability Accidents
  • Dram Shop Cases
  • Defective Premises
  • Porch/Deck Collapse
  • Inadequate/Negligent Maintenance
  • Inadequate/Negligent Security
  • Snow and Ice Accidents
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Trip and Fall Accidents
  • Fall Injuries
  • Construction Site Accidents
  • Road Construction Site Accidents
  • Products Liability Accidents
  • Defective Product/Equipment Accidents
  • Food Poisoning
  • Wrongful Death Accidents
  • Sports Accidents
  • Dog Bite Accidents
  • Third Party Claims

When you are injured on the job, Massachusetts law has you covered. Our worker’s compensation law is historically one of the best in the country in getting paychecks to injured workers. We will meet with you as soon as possible to assist you in determining if you are entitled to benefits and tell you how to get them.

Part of our review is to determine whether other claims exist, against so-called third parties, who may share responsibility for your injury. These claims become very important when your injury is extensive and you are facing long-term questions about your recovery and return to work.

You may not be sure whether your injury is job-related. Sometimes case law can help us find the answer to that question, along with your medical provider. Bringing those resources together to work to your benefit requires an experienced attorney.

Attorney James K. Meehan is widely experienced in this field and related ones. His expertise has developed on the special questions that arise in workers compensation law. Having represented thousands of injured workers, Attorney James K. Meehan knows your concerns and will help you access the benefits you are eligible for under Massachusetts and Federal law.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation is insurance coverage intended to compensate workers injured in the course of employment. It is required of most employers in the state. If an employer does not provide coverage, then the worker has the right to pursue a claim against the state administered Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. Coverage starts on the day of hire.

What types of injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Virtually all injuries occurring in the work place are covered including traumatic injuries, repetitive injuries, stress/emotional injuries and death. Any injury which arises out of and in the course of employment is compensable. If an injury occurs at work, regardless of who is at fault, it will generally be covered. Employees who become disabled due to repetitive activities such as lifting are entitled to benefits under the law. In addition, cumulative trauma/repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis are covered. Emotional and stress related injuries are recognized by the Workers’ Compensation Law.

Heart attacks, even those occurring at home, may be covered if your job or working conditions caused physical or emotional stress aggravating a heart condition.

Finally, occupational diseases such as asbestosis or mesothelioma are compensable a long as there is a causal connection to employment.

What monetary benefits are available if I become disabled?

If a worker is totally disabled due to an industrial injury, then he receives 60% of his pre-injury wage which is based on an average of gross earnings prior to the injury. These benefits can last for a maximum of three years.

If the worker is partially disabled (unable to do regular work and/or earn regular pay) then the insurer must pay 60% of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the worker’s earnings. These benefits can last for a maximum of five years. Combined, a worker can collect total disability and partial disability for a maximum of seven years.

If an individual suffers a serious injury, which prevents a return to any work whatsoever, then the worker can be entitled to permanent and total disability benefits. These benefits are paid at 2/3 of the worker’s pre-injury wage, plus a cost of living adjustment in some instances. These benefits can potentially run for a worker’s lifetime. In addition, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits.

What medical coverage will I receive if I am injured at work?

An injured worker is entitled to full payment for all medical treatment which is reasonable, necessary and related to the industrial accident. There are certain guidelines which may restrict an employee’s treatment; however, workers will generally be able to obtain medical care. You have the right to choose your own doctor for treatment.

In addition, if you would like a second opinion, the insurance company must pay for it. You are not required to be treated by a doctor picked by the insurance company or your employer. If they request, your employer can have you seen by its doctor only once.

If I cannot return to my old job can I receive retraining?

Yes. Under certain circumstances, a worker with a permanent disability that prevents him from returning to his old job can obtain retraining paid by the insurance company. Generally, these rights arise when a worker cannot be expected to find a job at his old rate of pay or when his employer will not provide light duty work.

The maximum period of retraining is two years. Retraining can take the form of training on the job or in a classroom. An employee cannot be forced to retrain for a job he does not want.

Can I receive money for scarring or bodily loss of function?

The workers’ compensation law will provide compensation as long as the scarring or disfigurement is on the worker’s face, neck, or hands. If a worker suffers a permanent loss of function to a body part such as back, knee, or shoulder, then he can receive payment in addition to this weekly check. If a worker loses an organ such as a spleen or a kidney, he is entitled to additional monetary benefits.

Can I settle my case?

Yes. Workers’ Compensation cases can be resolved by way of settlement. Settlements are reached after negotiation between the injured worker, his attorney, and the insurance company. Under most circumstances, your employer must also agree to the settlement.

If a case settles, then the worker is giving up all monetary rights for his injury. Many times a worker’s right to future medical treatment is kept open. In addition, the worker’s right to be considered for retraining can remain open for two years post-settlement.

Can I be represented by an attorney?

You have the right to be represented by an attorney on your workers’ compensation case. In fact, it is a good idea to consult an attorney soon after an injury in order to learn your rights. In addition, if an insurance company asks you to sign a paper you do not understand you should consult an attorney.

How does my lawyer get paid?

There are two possible ways a lawyer can get paid on a worker’s compensation case. First, if the case results in litigation at the Department of Industrial Accidents, the insurance company pays the lawyer’s fee if the worker wins in court. If the worker loses, then the lawyer is not paid by the insurance company or the worker. No fee is charged.

The second way a lawyer can get paid is upon case settlement. If the case settles with the medicals remaining open, then the lawyer is entitled to charge up to 20% of the settlement as a fee. If the case settles with the medicals closed out, then the fee is 15% of the settlement.

What is third party liability?

In some cases, a third-party may be liable for the worker’s injuries. Examples of these types of work-related, third-party liability cases include car accidents, construction site accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, wrongful death, pedestrian accidents, premises liability, and motorcycle accidents.

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