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Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

clipboardMost workers who are injured on the job are entitled to some type of compensation. For example, a Cape Cod workers’ compensation claimant may pursue medical treatment, temporary disability, or permanent disability benefits, depending upon the nature and resolution of his or her injuries.

Some types of workers are limited to benefits under a particular law or statute. This includes members of the state police, such as state troopers. An appeals court was recently asked to review the rights of a trooper who hurt his back while working.

Facts of the Case

nurse's uniformAccidents at work can result in substantial harm to employees, including fractures, lacerations, contusions, disc herniations, strains, sprains, amputations, paralysis, blindness, hearing loss, and many other injuries.

In a Cape Cod workers’ compensation case, an employee may be entitled to receive several different types of benefits, both temporary and permanent. It is always best to speak to an experienced work injury attorney to find out more about the particulars of your case if you have suffered a work injury or illness.

Timeliness is very important in workers’ compensation cases. Since claims not filed within the time allowed by law are usually dismissed, it is critical that all paperwork be completed as soon as possible after an accident at work.

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patrol carFollowing an injury at work, a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claimant may or may not be able to return to his or her previous job. In cases in which the worker is unable to go back to the employment in which he or she was engaged at the time of the accident or work-related illness, he or she may be able to seek permanent disability payments.

Of course, the employer or its insurance company may oppose the worker’s claim, averring that the worker’s injury or illness did not result in a permanent disability. When the parties cannot agree, it is up to a workers’ compensation administrative law judge to make a determination of the specific benefits to which the injured worker is entitled.

If either party is displeased with the result, there is an appellate procedure in place.

date

While the majority of cases involving injuries (such as car accident lawsuits, slip and fall cases, and workers’ compensation claims) are settled out of court, sometimes litigation can drag out for several years.

In a recent workers’ compensation case heard by a Massachusetts appellate court, however, an injured worker’s case had been going on since the 1990s.

The appellate court was called upon to determine the date from which interest was due. Due to the filing of multiple claims over a 20-year period, the matter was more complicated than it might initially seem.

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under construction

Typically, a worker who is hurt on the job is limited to benefits available to him or her under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. However, there are a few limited circumstances under which a third party may be liable in tort for the employee’s injuries.

One of these circumstances arises when a defective product was to blame for the worker’s injuries. Additionally, in some cases, the general contractor on a construction project may also be liable for the injuries of a subcontractor’s employee.

Of course, liability is never automatic, and these defendants – like most defendants who are facing the payout of a substantial verdict due to another person’s injuries – usually fight hard against a finding that they are legally responsible.

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medicine bottleUnder Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws, a person who is hurt at work may seek compensation for several types of benefits – including temporary disability, permanent disability, and medical expenses.

Ideally, the employer’s insurance company will pay these benefits in a timely and non-contentious fashion. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and an employee’s claim may be unfairly denied.

In such situations, the employee has a legal right to retain an attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation laws to assist him or her with the claim.

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hands

When a worker is hurt on the job, there are several types of benefits to which he or she may be entitled under Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. These typically include medical expenses, temporary total or temporary partial disability payments, and permanent total or permanent partial disability benefits.

Unlike tort cases arising from accidents caused by negligence outside the workplace (a car accident, for instance), a worker is not “made whole,” economically speaking, in workers’ compensation cases. In other words, a worker does not receive total replacement of his or her lost wages, only a percentage thereof.

A recent case addresses the calculation of some of these benefits.

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hospital bedWorkplace injuries can happen in many different ways. Heavy lifting can cause a back strain or even a herniated lumbar disc. Repetitive motion can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapment. A slip and fall accident on a wet floor can cause a broken arm or leg.

If a work injury results in an employee being unable to do any kind of work at all, he or she qualifies for permanent and total incapacity benefits. If an employee can still work but loses a portion of his or her earning capacity because of a work-related injury or illness (including an injury that causes the employee to change to a job that pays a lower wage or an illness that prevents the worker from working the same number of hours per week), he or she is entitled to partial incapacity benefits for up to 260 weeks.

In some cases, the employee and the employer (or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier) may disagree as to the extent of an employee’s disability. When this happens, the first review of the case is usually by an administrative law judge. A reviewing board may then look at the case and, after that, the court of appeals.

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buildings

Those who are injured on the job have a legal right to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and at least partially offset lost wages. If a particular work injury results in a permanent disability, a worker may also file a claim for incapacity benefits.

Of course, the benefits are not automatic, and the plaintiff must comply with all of the procedural requirements set forth under Massachusetts law. Even then, there is the possibility that he or she may be met with opposition from the employer or its insurance company, especially with regard to the issue of permanent disability.

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reading an x-ray

Workers’ compensation laws are designed to give those who are hurt at work a less contentious path toward benefits (such as disability payments and medical expenses) than a traditional personal injury lawsuit, in which the plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant was negligent in order to recover compensation.

However, certain procedural requirements are still in place, and the burden remains on the plaintiff to prove his or her case.

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