Have you been injured while operating within the scope of your employment in Massachusetts? If so, there’s a good chance you’re eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

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The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act requires virtually all employers operating in the state to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits can help employees who have been injured or become ill as a result of their jobs by assisting with:

Medical expenses

Wage replacement

Disability benefits

Vocational rehabilitation

However, insurance companies aren’t necessarily eager to honor applications or claims for workers’ compensation benefits. This is due to the fact that insurance companies are essentially still businesses. An insurer might thus seek ways to justify not paying an injured worker if doing so is possible.

Additionally, if your accident resulted from the negligence of another party, you may have grounds to file a third-party claim seeking more compensation than you could receive from workers’ comp benefits alone. It’s important to be aware of this potential option to ensure you’re pursuing the full amount of compensation for which you may be eligible.

There are various ways you can guard against your claim or application being unfairly rejected by an insurer. This includes following these steps:

Report the Accident

Report the accident to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible. The report should include the date, time, location, and nature of the accident, as well as any injuries sustained.

Your employer may provide you with paperwork to fill out when reporting your accident. If so, complete this paperwork thoroughly and honestly, and make a copy for your records. If your employer doesn’t immediately provide you with any such paperwork, report the accident in writing in some form.

Don’t delay to report what may even seem to be a minor accident at work. In some instances, workers injure themselves without initially realizing how severe their injuries are. Thus, they delay in reporting their accidents. Unfortunately, such a delay can cause an insurer to be suspicious about whether an employee genuinely sustained an injury at work or whether they were injured elsewhere.

The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act requires virtually all employers operating in the state to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.

Seek Medical Attention

Just as it’s important to report your accident to your employer even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, you should also seek medical attention, even if your injuries seem minor.

First, you must consider the fact that you’ve sustained major injuries without realizing it. The symptoms of an injury such as a concussion may not manifest until hours or even days after an accident. To optimize your recovery, it’s critical that a medical professional evaluates your condition right away.

As the above section of this blog touched on, insurers may also deny claims for workers’ compensation benefits if they can suggest that a worker was injured outside of work. This will be more difficult for an insurer to do if you see a doctor right away to establish a link between your workplace accident and your injuries.

Document the Accident

You may need to provide evidence and documentation of your accident to show that you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Evidence might also help you show that your accident resulted from another party’s negligence, such as an equipment manufacturer. This evidence can take the form of:

Photographs of the accident scene

Footage of the accident as it occurred, if it’s available

Photographs of your injuries

Witness statements

You may not know the names or contact information of certain witnesses who saw your accident happen. For example, some witnesses may have been customers at your place of business. If so, try to determine their identities and contact info.

Follow-Up with Medical Treatment

Be sure to follow all your doctor’s advice. This is key to preventing your injuries from worsening. Additionally, an insurer might have reason to deny your claim or offer less compensation than you’re seeking if you don’t follow the advice of medical professionals. For instance, if you don’t heed a doctor’s suggestions, an insurer might argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.

Consult with an Attorney

Your employer may report your injury to their workers’ compensation insurance provider directly. If they don’t, you can contact the insurance company yourself.

However, before coordinating directly with an insurance company to discuss a settlement, it’s wise to review your case with a Massachusetts personal injury attorney. Remember, along with workers’ compensation benefits, you may be eligible to receive additional compensation if a negligent third party caused your accident. A lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our Boston injured workers attorneys have the experience and expertise necessary to help you secure proper compensation after a workplace accident. For more information about what we can do for you, contact us online or call us at (617) 742-1900.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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