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 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.