If you're receiving workers’ compensation benefits after being injured on the job in Massachusetts, you’re not able to sue your employer. That doesn’t mean, however, that your lawsuit options are exhausted.
Why Can’t I Sue My Employer if I Was Injured at Work?
Generally speaking, the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation system exists to ensure workers are protected by insurance if they are injured on the job or contract an illness related to their work. If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for worker's compensation benefits which could include payments for medical care for your injury, disability benefits, and even partial paycheck replacement.
All reasonable and work-injury-related medical bills will be covered by workers’ comp and disability benefits may be available to injured workers who are not able to return to work after an injury.
All employers, under Massachusetts General Laws, are required to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage in the event an employee is injured. The workers’ comp laws in Massachusetts are administered by the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).
The general purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide the injured person with money in order to eliminate the need for litigation. Unfortunately, however, employers - under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act - do not provide benefits for pain or suffering. This means that injured workers don’t have the right or ability to sue their employer for injuries if they’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Who You CAN Sue After Being Hurt at Work in Massachusetts: Third-party Injury Claims
You may not be able to sue your employer if you have a workers’ compensation claim, but there may be someone you can sue.
Massachusetts law provides that anyone injured at work is allowed to sue a third-party which was responsible in some way for the workplace accident and your injuries. Filing an injury lawsuit against a third-party does not prevent you from receiving any of the workers’ compensation to which you’re legally entitled.
We recommend for anyone who was injured on the job in Massachusetts consult an injury attorney or law firm to review their case. While you can’t sue your employer, an experienced lawyer may be able to spot a viable third-party injury lawsuit. Third-party personal injury claims may allow you to recover more compensation than is available under your workers’ compensation claim.
What is a Third-party Injury Claim?
Imagine this: you get to work one morning, rushing into the office as usual. As you walk down the hallway, you suddenly slip and totally wipe out. Because you were carrying your briefcase and had coffee in hand, you weren’t able to catch yourself well. After a dramatic fall, you broke your ankle, fractured your wrist, and tore ligaments in your arm. Your injuries are serious!
In a case like this, you’d most likely be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of your medical expenses and some of your paychecks in Massachusetts. You might also be able to file a third-party injury claim lawsuit with the help of an attorney.
You may think it’s probably not worth consulting an injury lawyer, but you do anyway to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. After looking over your case and doing a bit of investigating, the lawyer finds out that the cleaners had done something wrong when they last cleaned and waxed your office floors.
A residue was left behind that made the floors much more slippery. Due to the cleaning company’s negligence, the lawyer lets you know you could file an injury suit against them. In your case against the cleaning company, unlike your workers’ comp case, you would be able to claim your pain and suffering and the full amount of your lost earning capacity and other damages.
Injured at work? Schedule a FREE Initial Consultation and Case Review of your Workers’ Comp Case with a Boston Injury Lawyer
Do you have an active worker's compensation claim and want to know if you may be able to file a third-party negligence lawsuit for more compensation for your pain and suffering? If that’s you, you’re in the right place. Schedule your free consultation at our Chelsea, Salem, or Worcester Personal Injury Law Offices today.
Our injury lawyers will look over your case and determine if you may be able to file a third-party negligence lawsuit.
If you’ve just been hurt at work and don’t know what to do next - we’re also here to help. We can review your claim and advise if you should pursue workers’ comp benefits, an injury lawsuit, or both.