Workers' Compensation FAQs
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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 at 617-225-2100 for a free consultation.
Here are frequently asked questions regarding Workers’ Compensation:
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is meant to protect employees. Under Massachusetts law, employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. When employees are injured at work, or contract a work related illness, workers’ compensation covers their medical bills and gives them compensation for other losses, such as disability benefits.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
If you are injured as a result of your work, you will qualify for workers’ compensation if you miss 5 calendar days of work. These days do not need to be consecutive. It is important to note that independent contractors do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are cases where workers are incorrectly labeled as an independent contractor. If you think your employer has misclassified you, you must contact a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. to help you today. Call 617-225-2100 for a free consultation.
What Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Any injury that is a direct result of your work is covered by workers’ compensation. This includes illness contracted by your job and repetitive stress injuries. Injuries that develop while you were performing required work, but occurred outside of your normal workspace may also be covered by workers’ compensation.
What Should I Do if My Employer Does Not Have Insurance?
Under Massachusetts law, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance for all their covered employees. The Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund (WCTF) will provide coverage for your medical costs in the cases where employers do not have the proper coverage. Additionally, the WCTF will cover the compensation you are owed for your work related injury or illness.
How Long do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You have to file a claim within 4 years from the date that you determined your injury was related to work. After 4 years, you can not file a workers’ compensation claim.
What Happens if Work Injury Results in the Death of a Worker?
When a person is killed as a result of a work injury, the family members of the deceased can receive workers’ compensation death benefits. Eligible family members that can receive compensation include spouses and minor children. Workers’ compensation can also provide coverage for the cost of a funeral.
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Exist?
Workers’ compensation covers the medical costs of the injury, as well as part of your lost wages. Injured workers that are temporarily disabled or permanently disabled receive ongoing disability benefits. These ongoing benefits are for both total and partial disabilities. Specific injuries such as losing a limb or disfigurement allows for specific amounts of compensation that are predetermined by workers’ compensation laws in Massachusetts. Benefits vary depending on the situation, and it is imperative that you talk to an experienced legal team that can guide you through the various benefits and help you get the compensation you need. The attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C., have over 30 years of experience and help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.
How Much Work Do I Need to Have Missed in Order to Receive Workers’ Compensation?
You must miss 5 calendar days of work. Workers’ compensation benefits are made payable on the 6th day. If you miss over 21 days of work as a result of the work injury, then your employer will need to pay for the initial 5 days of missed work. All medical costs related to the injury are covered by workers’ compensation.
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. This is called the impartial medical exam. 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. This is called the Pay Without Prejudice period. 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.
What Should I Do If I Need Help With My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In some cases, you may be entitled to a workers' compensation settlement. This depends on the facts of the case, and you should get the assistance of an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options. If your benefits were denied, your rights violated or your employer isn’t filing your claim in a timely manner, you will need the help of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Contact an experienced lawyer at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. for a free consultation. Call 617-225-2100.
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