The goal of workers’ compensation is to provide financial compensation for injured workers and their families. Financial compensation may include weekly wage loss benefits for total and partial disability, medical costs, vocational re-retraining expenses, death benefits, funeral costs, and other costs associated with being hurt on the job. Simply put, workers who are injured within the course and scope of their employment are eligible for workers’ comp benefits in Massachusetts.
Common Types of Injuries at Work
Many different kinds of injuries can happen at work including, but not limited to:
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel
- Head Injuries
- Torn Rotator Cuff to Shoulder
If you’ve suffered any of these injuries, any other injuries, or if you’ve lost a loved one—then you need to know what benefits you might be able to receive pursuant to Massachusetts workers’ compensation law.
Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits
Depending on the nature and severity of a worker’s injuries, the following benefits may be available:
- Partial Disability Benefits. These benefits are available to workers who have been injured and, as a result, are limited in the amount or type of work they can perform. The law allows workers to collect 60 percent of the wages that would have earned but for injury, or 60 percent of what was lost as a result of the accident. These benefits are paid weekly.
- Disfigurement or Loss of Function. These benefits are paid when a worker is disfigured or suffers a loss of function of a body part. This could mean anything from a permanent scar on one’s face or neck to a person who has lost function of an arm, leg, eye or another body part.
- Total Disability Benefits. This type of benefit is available to workers who cannot perform work as a result of their work injury. Workers who receive total disability benefits may obtain 60 percent of their average weekly pay (with a max amount capped by state law). That weekly amount is determined by averaging what the worker earned in the 52 weeks prior to injury. Workers can receive total disability benefits for up to three years.
- Total and Permanent Disability Benefits. State law allows an employee who is unable to work for an extended time due to a work injury to receive total and permanent disability benefits. This will allow a worker to receive up to 60 percent of weekly pay, as well as an offset for the increase in living expenses due to injury. These benefits may be paid for the remainder of the worker’s life.
- Death Benefits. These are benefits available to a surviving spouse and children of a worker who died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. Here again, the recovery amount is 60 percent of the average weekly wage. There may be other benefits available under this provision as well (i.e., funeral expenses, medical costs, etc.) depending on the circumstances.
Additional benefits, such as vocational training, may also be possible.
Filing a Lawsuit If You Receive Workers’ Compensation
You are not allowed to sue your employer from whom you are receiving worker’s compensation benefits. However, you may be able to bring a claim against any other responsible parties. For example:
- If you are a truck driver and you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you can’t sue the company you work for, but you may be able to sue the driver who caused the accident.
- If you slipped and fell on a wet floor at work, you cannot sue your company, but you may be able to sue the cleaning company hired to wash the floors and negligently failed to warn workers that the floor was wet.
These are two simple examples of the hundreds of different possibilities that exist in many of the worker’s compensation cases we see.
Call an Experienced MA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer If You’re Hurt
If you have been hurt at work, or your loved one has died from a work-related injury or illness, then we encourage you to contact the Spada Law Group, LLC. Our experienced legal team would be happy to meet with you in our conveniently located Chelsea or Salem offices. We will review your claim for you and advise you on whether you should pursue a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury lawsuit, or both a workers’ comp claim and a lawsuit. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us directly or reaching out to us via this website.