Workers Compensation in Worcester, MA
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Massachusetts state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Worcester, Massachusetts workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Worcester, Massachusetts?
According to the Massachusetts Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report, there were a total of 68,800 nonfatal work-related injuries in Massachusetts in 2017. The education & health services industry experienced the most nonfatal occupational injuries, almost double the next industry, trade, transportation & utilities. Moreover, the education & health services, and trade, transportation & utilities industries experienced the most injury cases with days away from work. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these two industries employ the most people in Worcester, close to 50% of the nonfarm labor force. Since so much of the Worcester workforce is employed in these dangerous industries, this could lead to a lot of work-related injuries in the city.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Worcester, Massachusetts?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, every employer in Massachusetts must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The few exceptions to this rule include domestic employees who work less than 16 hours a week. Consequently, every Worcester employee, whether full or part-time, should be covered starting on the first day of employment. Benefits include coverage for medical bills, temporary partial and total incapacity, and vocational rehabilitation. Mental injuries such as PTSD may be covered if the contributing cause was a workplace incident or a work-related physical injury.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Worcester, Massachusetts are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get suffer an injury or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Worcester, Massachusetts healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines. Some of which are critical in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report that details the extent of the damage and how it occurs is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months. All before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
If you are suffer an injury on the job in Worcester, you should notify your employer immediately. As well, you should seek medical attention. Once you have missed five days of work due to a job-related accident, you must submit an Employee Claim, Form 110, to your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. Your employer then has 7 days to file a First Report of Injury, Form 101, electronically with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Under Massachusetts law, anyone injured in a job-related activity in Worcester has up to four years from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Timeline and Other Information
If you are unable to work for 6 or more days due to a work injury, you can qualify for benefits. You could be eligible to receive 60% of your average weekly wage. According to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, the maximum you can receive is the state’s average weekly wage at the time of your injury. If you miss work for 21 days or more, you should be paid retroactively for the first five days missed. You can receive these benefits for 156 weeks. If you are able to work, but earn less because of a work-related injury, you may be eligible to receive benefits. Typically for up to 45% of your average weekly wage for 260 weeks.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point. Typically about the incident and to any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire a Worcester, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Worcester, Massachusetts, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or on your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Worcester workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Worcester, Massachusetts
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Worcester, Massachusetts you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!