Is A Massachusetts Based Business Required to Have Workers’ Compensation?

This is a commonly misunderstood area. Many people believe that a worker’s compensation insurance policy is a discretionary item for smaller businesses. In fact, in Massachusetts:”With limited exceptions, every employer in the Commonwealth with one or more employee(s) is required by law to have a valid workers’ compensation policy at all times. This “no fault” insurance not only provides injured workers with medical care and partial wage replacement, but also protects the policyholders from potentially damaging lawsuits” ( From Mass.gov./ Labor and Workforce Development).

Another common question relates to benefits. The benefit is based on your average weekly salary for the year prior to the date of your on the job injury. Worker’s compensation pays 66.6% of your average weekly salary up to a max of $736/wk and no taxes are withheld.

A related question is the benefit percentage amounts a disabled worker is entitled to. “Total and permanent incapacity is 2/3 of average weekly pay and total incapacity is 60% of the average weekly pay, up to 156 weeks”.

This information is a general guide. For the application to your case you should consult with an attorney in the Lowell area regarding your specific case.Please call attorney Jeff Young for a complimentary case review #978-654-6670 or visit our website: www.lowellmainjurylawyer.com .

What Is A Personal Injury Lawyer in Lowell?

Understanding the services of a personal injury attorney in detail.

By definition, personal injury is stated as an injury that is inflicted on an individual due to the negligence or carelessness of another. Sometimes cases of personal injury can result in minor consequences for example, a minor bruise or cut, however, there is an equal chance of the victim  getting disabled or seriously injured in an accident that can change the course of one’s life. In cases like these, the services of a personal injury lawyer are considered to seek compensation for the physical and psychological damage that occur and financial loss due to time off from work and/or medical expenses now or in the future

Typically, personal injury attorneys handle cases that fall under Tort Law. They deal with cases of work injuries, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents defective products, medical mistakes, slip and fall accidents and more.

Usually a personal injury attorney will settle cases out of court although personal injury lawyers are also know as Trial lawyers even though their cases seldom reach trial stage. In cases where there is no out of court settlement, the process may take longer.

Before a case is taken by an attorney meetings with the client take place to ascertain the details and for the prospective client to decide if they feel that the attorney is a good fit. The attorney is also trying to see if there is a legal basis for the case.

A personal injury attorney will better ensure that fair compensation is received by the client in the courts. In the Greater Lowell and Merrimack Valley community, there are many lawyers that present themselves as personal injury lawyers. It is always best to do your research and check out the potential lawyers experience in successfully handling injury and accident cases similar to yours.

What To Look For In Hiring A Work Injury Lawyer in Greater Lowell Ma.

 

Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer in The Greater Lowell Area

For individuals that have incurred a serious work-related injury, it is highly recommended to hire a lawyer to handle your worker’s compensation claim. The law and the legal process are sufficiently complex and specialized that hiring an attorney with specific experience in this area is generally a wise move. Financially, the risk is minimal as in many cases a majority of the legal fee and expenses may be paid by the insurance company.

Hiring the right attorney can be a challenge for first timers. Many law firms will state that they handle such matters but distinguishing those that have a lot of experience, versus those that say they do is always the key. Here are a few considerations in finding the right lawyer for your work injury case.

Look for a no-obligation, initial consultation with the specific lawyer that will be handling your case. Most workers’ compensation lawyers offer a free initial consultation. Some questions you should ask:

  1. How long have you been handling workers compensation claims?
  2. What percentage of your practice is allocated to workers     compensation?
  3. Will the lawyer represent you in all phases of the legal process?
  4. Are reviews from past clients available?
  5. When I contact your office regarding the case who will I deal with?
  6. Can you give a brief summary of what I should expect and how long it may take?
  7. Do you arrange for medical consultations?
  8. Are you able to give me an honest assessment as to the strengths and weaknesses of my claim?

A conversation with your prospective attorney will give you a good idea as to their professionalism and how well the two of you communicate. It is also a good idea to meet others in the law office that may be contacts while your case proceeds through the courts. Do they seem to be people you can rely on?

The bottom line is you want to select a workers compensation attorney in the Lowell area that you have confidence in and one who will give your case the work and attention that it deserves. Please give our office a call (978-654-6670), email: jyounglaw@comcast.net or visit our website today: www.lowellmainjurylawyer.com

Frequently Asked Questions On Work Injuries In Massachusetts

The following information is derived from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, Labor and Workforce Development.

Question: After I am injured on the job how long does it take for the insurance company to begin sending checks?

Answer: “When you have been unable to earn full wages for five (5) or more full or partial calendar days due to an injury on the job, your employer has seven (7) days, not including Sundays and legal holidays, from the fifth date of loss, to report the injury to its insurance company. The insurance company then has 14 calendar days from receipt of the first report of injury to mail you a check or, if it intends to contest the claim, to send you a form stating its reasons for denying compensation”.

Question: If I am injured on the job and have to go to the hospital for treatment, does my employer pay me for the entire day?

Answer: “The only requirement under state law is that your employer needs to pay you for the hours you actually worked. If your employer does pay you for just the hours you worked, then the day you were injured would be considered the first day of disability. If your employer paid you for the entire day, or shift, then the next day would be considered the first day of disability.”

Question:  The insurance company sent me a notice about having their doctor examine me. Do I have to go? Do they have to reimburse me for lost wages?

Answer:”You are compensated for lost work time only if you are going for a medical evaluation at the insurer’s request and the appointment conflicts with your normal, scheduled working hours.”

Question: How long to I have to file a claim after injury?

Answer:”Under MGL c. 152 § 41 for injuries on or after January 1, 1986, a claim must be filed with the insurer within four (4) years of the date an employee becomes aware of the causal connection between their disability and their employment. In the case of the death of an employee, the claim must be within four (4) years of death. If you receive a Notification of Denial – Form 104, you would have four (4) years from the date you received it to appeal the denial”.

For more information regarding your rights as an employee please go to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website.

I hope that this information is helpful to you if you have experienced an on the job injury. You may also contact me for a no-obligation meeting to learn more about your case. www.lowellmainjurylawyer.com.

Slip and Fall Injury Law – Massachusetts

Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, property owners are expected to keep their properties safe. A property can be dangerous for many reasons: the construction might be shoddy, maintenance may be poor, or the property is cluttered. These kinds of conditions can lead to slipping, tripping, falling, or having something fall onto a person.

If a customer, tenant, or visitor is at a property and receives an injury due to unsafe conditions, this person may be entitled to compensation. This is generally termed a “slip and fall” injury and needs a personal injury attorney to represent the injured person against the property owner.

There is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In Massachusetts, this limitation is 3 years. Basically, this means that a person has 3 years from the date of the injury to file a claim.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you’ll definitely want to retain the services of an attorney. However, before you say yes to an attorney, it’s necessary to do more research than simply looking in the Yellow Pages or doing a Google search. Here are some things that you’ll need to know before selecting an attorney to represent you in your claim.

  1. Initial consultations are usually free. A good attorney should be willing to discuss the facts of your case with you and let you know if they believe you have a case against the owner. Most will do this without charge.
  2. Most lawyers limit their practices to certain types of law. Make sure that the attorney you choose is experienced in personal injury claims.
  3. Beware of ambulance chasers. These are illegal in many states. If you suffer an injury and get a call or a mailing from an attorney immediately afterward, use caution. Check with friends and family or online reviews before choosing a lawyer.
  4. You don’t always have to file a lawsuit.Many slip and fall claims can be settled out of court. A good personal injury lawyer can often get the case information to the company’s insurance without having to file a lawsuit. This is often the fastest and least expensive option.
  5. If you hire a lawyer, he or she will expect to be paid for their services. Most will work on a contingency fee. This means that the lawyer does not get paid until you do. Be sure you understand the fee up front before you hire one.
  6. Expenses are not included in the contingency fee.       If a lawyer has to pay someone else to work on your case, he incurs expenses. Most lawyers pay the expenses for you and then bill you at the end of the case.
  7. If your case is successful, you may have to pay back your health insurance company. Most lawyers will work with the insurance company to see that you get the best settlement possible.
  8. Beware of lawyers claiming quick settlements or fast cash. Personal injury cases almost always take a lot of time. Your lawyer should be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take.
  9. There are no guarantees. If a lawyer says that he will guarantee your case, you might not want to hire him. A good lawyer will give you an honest opinion of the chances of your case.

If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, you may have a case of personal injury and be due compensation. Before hiring an attorney, make sure to do your own research. Read online reviews and talk to friends and family. Beware of any lawyers that make claims that seem too good to be true.

Sources:

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/9-things-to-know-before-you-hire-a-personal-injury-lawyer

 

What To Do If You Have Been In an Auto Accident in Lowell Massachusetts

Once an auto accident happens, your entire world can be thrown off-kilter. Getting back on your feet afterward can take months, and there are some people who never get back to where they were. So what can you do to minimize the damage? Here are some important things to do as soon as you’re involved in an accident.

1. Assist the other driver and get medical care for the injured

Your first duty is to make sure everyone who needs medical attention gets it. Never run from a crash, ever. That will jeopardize your chances of getting any compensation. You could also receive additional charges and criminal penalties for running.

2. Trade information

While you’re waiting for the paramedics and the police, exchange information with the other driver. You’ll need the name of the driver, their contact information, and their insurance information. If at all possible, get this before the paramedics take you and your loved ones to the hospital. You may be able to obtain this information from the police if you were the one that was injured since they will be required to take it for their reporting.

3. Document as much as you can

You will need to give a statement to the insurance company about what happened. This statement will be much stronger if you can back it up with documentation. If you can, take photos of the crash scene and have the doctor write out a clear explanation of your injuries. If you had passengers, take statements from them about their perspective. But don’t talk with the insurance company yet…

4. Contact a personal injury lawyer

A local personal injury lawyer will know how to frame your request tothe insurance company so you can get the best initial offer. They may also point you to additional sources of documentation you may wish to include. The initial consultation for lawyers is free, so you have nothing to lose by going to them for advice.

5. When Must An Accident Report Be Filed ?

“ M.G.L.( Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90, Section 26 requires a person who was operating a motor vehicle involved in a crash in which (i) any person was killed or (ii) injured or (iii) in which there was damage in excess of $1,000 to any one vehicle or other property, to complete and file a Crash Operator Report with the Registrar within five (5) days after such crash (unless the person is physically incapable of doing so due to incapacity). The person completing the report must also send a copy of the report to the police department having jurisdiction on the way where the crash occurred. If the operator is incapacitated but is not the vehicle’s owner, the owner is required to file the crash report within the five (5) days based on his/her knowledge and information obtained about the crash. The Registrar may require the owner or operator to supplement the report and he/she can revoke or suspend the license of any person violating any provision of this legal requirement. A police department is required to accept a report filed by an owner or operator whose vehicle has been damaged in a crash in which another person unlawfully left the scene even if damage to the vehicle does not exceed $1,000*
*Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report

6. No insurance?

The good news is that Massachusetts has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers in the country and as a “no-fault” state each driver or his insurance pays for your injuries and damages and those of any passengers. You are required to have bodily injury by an uninsured auto and damage to someone else’s property. Coverage amounts will vary. You may also have additional uninsured motorist coverage limits on your policy for added protection.

7. More questions?

Please call the Law Office of Jeffrey A Young 978-654-6670 or visit our website www.lowellmainjurylawyer.com

Teenagers Leading category of Traffic Fatalities In Lowell, Mass.

The latest statistics from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is an eye opener. Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide and in Massachusetts. The statistics show that new drivers are four times more likely to be killed and fourteen times more likely to be injured than any other demographic. Teens are also twice as likely to kill a passenger in their car.

The main causes of car crashes were speed and inexperience. Distracted driving including texting, phone usage and distraction from passengers, often play a role. Alcohol, failure to wear a seat belt, and emotional distractions are additional factors.

Proper auto driver’s training reinforced by parental supervision are keys to educating and ensuring responsibility amongst teenage drivers in Lowell and surrounding communities. If you are in an auto accident, contact a Lowell area personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are aware of all laws and proper insurance guidelines. It is always best to speak to an attorney that specializes in auto accident cases prior to talking to an insurance company adjuster or lawyer.

Auto Accident Law Lowell Massachusetts 2015

The goal of this blog is to provide specific information relating to auto accidents and motor vehicle accidents and injuries specific to the Lowell Massachusetts area. The general public is typically unaware as to their rights under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts laws as they relate to vehicular laws and injuries. As a practicing lawyer in Lowell Ma., I have a familiarity with the laws, legal system and the insurance companies involved in most vehicular accident and liability cases. By specializing in the accident and personal injury area of law, I am able to best represent my clients in their dealings with the legal system and insurance adjusters. For additional information please visit my website: www.lowellmainjurylawyer.com.

Attorney Jeffrey A. Young