What Your Employer Won’t Tell You About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

An accident at work can be traumatic and painful. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, it is important to protect yourself and talk to an experienced workers compensation attorney in Massachusetts. However, the workers’ compensation process is complicated. One error can result in denial of claims, denial of treatment, or termination of employment.

If you have contracted an illness at work, or sustained a workplace injury, our workers’ compensation attorneys at the Bellotti Law Group, P.C. can help. We have over 38 years of expertise in dealing with workers’ compensation cases. Each of our workers’ compensation attorneys are well prepared to help clients and their families receive the compensation they deserve after a work-related injury. Contact us today for help with your case.

Workers’ compensation claims provide payment for accident-related medical bills and a reimbursement for a portion of your lost wages. These benefits are limited, and do not include compensation for your pain and suffering. In order to receive this limited compensation, an employee needs to show that they suffered an injury during the course of their employment. They do not need to show that their employer was negligent in causing their injury. 

Can I Sue My Employer?

In some cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit for all damages that have resulted from your injury, not limited to regular worker compensation benefits. By law, an employee is not able to sue their employer for injuries due to their employment. Rather, they are able to pursue a worker’s compensation claim for the damages outlined above. However, the employee can pursue a third-party claim if another individual or entity is responsible for their injury. 

How Do I Pursue a Third Party Claim?

In order to pursue a third-party claim, Workers must show that the third party owed them a duty of care.  Additionally, the employee must show that the third party’s lack of care resulted in the workers’ injury. Third parties can be other contractors on the job site, general contractors, building owners, maintenance companies, other drivers, commercial trucking companies or driving firms. If you want to pursue a third party claim, it is important to have the right representation to ensure the best possible outcome. Our experienced attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. can help you recover the benefits you need. 

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits? 

The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 152) covers employees once they are hired. Employees injured in Massachusetts during their employment are covered by Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act regardless of where they were hired. The coverage does not have a waiting period. However, there is a waiting period for payment of weekly compensation. 

Workers’ Compensation laws specify that a person injured on the job must miss five calendar days before becoming entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These five days do not need to be consecutive. Compensation benefits are payable by the sixth day of missed work. If a work injury results in an employee missing more than 21 days of work, the insurance company is also required to pay for the first five days of missed work. 

Can I Choose My Own Doctor? 

Yes, you may choose your own doctor. Employers may require you to see a preferred provider for your initial visit, called the impartial medical examination. After the initial visit, you may be treated by a professional of your choice. It is important to note that you may only switch doctors once within a medical speciality. In order to change your doctor more than once, you will need the permission of your employer or insurance company. 

Do I Need Permission to See a Doctor? 

You do not need permission to see a doctor. The state publishes treatment guidelines for most medical conditions. However, pre-approval is needed before undergoing treatment. For a work related injury, insurance companies are required to provide payment for necessary medical care.

The workers’ compensation law provides financial compensation to employees who have a work-related injury or have contracted a work-related illness. Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees.

What Should I Do If I Contract a Work-Related Illness or Sustain a Work Injury? 

Notify your employer immediately. Once you have missed 5 calendar days of work, you are eligible for weekly compensation benefits.  The days do not have to be consecutive. When you are eligible for benefits, your employer must file a form called the Employer’s First Report of Injury/Fatality form. When the insurance company receives the form, they have 14 calendar days to pay your benefits or to deny your claim. If the insurance company pays your claim during this 14 day period, that does not mean the insurance company has fully accepted your claim. The insurance company has 180 days in which they can decide to stop or modify the payments. The company only needs to give an injured worker 7 days notice if they wish to stop or modify their payments. After this 180 day period, the insurance company can’t stop or modify the payments without authorization.

Contact An Attorney

Our Boston workers compensation attorneys at Bellotti Law Group P.C. are experienced lawyers who specialize in workers compensation cases. Our team has been regarded as one of the best in the state. We have expertise at all stages of conferences, hearings, and appeals in the worker compensation process. Beginning with a free consultation, we will plan your case and make sure that you have the best chance of success. Call 617-225-2100 today. 


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