Important Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured at Work
Important Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured at Work
Our state is well-known for our proud and vibrant workforce, but with our commitment to hard work comes the potential for injuries in the workplace. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system offers financial relief to those who have been hurt at work. As a lifelong Massachusetts resident and an attorney with nearly 40 years’ worth of experience, Attorney George A. Malliaros is intimately familiar with the processes surrounding workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ Compensation Overview
By law, if you are injured while working in Massachusetts and you notify your employer, the employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation benefits within 21 days. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be eligible to receive Temporary Total Disability benefits (e.g., Section 34 Benefits) for three years, which pays 60% of your weekly salary. Thereafter, you could be eligible to receive Temporary Partial Disability benefits (e.g., Section 35 benefits) for an additional four years at the same amount. If your injury leaves you permanently disabled, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly salary for the remainder of your life. Furthermore, statute M.G.L. 152 consists of 86 separate actions and provides death benefits, as well as benefits for loss of function and scarring.
If your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier denies your benefits or if payments do not begin within 30 days of your injury, you will need to file a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which is the department of state government that oversees and administers workers’ compensation claims in Massachusetts. The statute of limitations to file a claim is four years from the date of your injury.
In some cases, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier will attempt to offer you a lump sum payment that is less than your weekly benefits. If this happens the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros can help you negotiate a fair settlement.
Five Steps to Take following an Injury at Work
If you have suffered a workplace injury or developed an occupational illness during the course of your employment, you should follow the steps below to ensure that any potential claims will be handled smoothly and effectively.
- Inform Your Employer: Immediately following the injury, you or a coworker should inform your supervisor or employer. Your benefits ― as well as the statute of limitations for filing a claim with the DIA (four years) ―begin on the date of your injury, so it’s important that you report the incident.
- Request Medical Treatment: Even if you feel that your injury isn’t severe, many injuries can take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to manifest, especially if you are in a state of shock or surprise following the incident. Therefore, you should request medical treatment right away, regardless of whether you think you need it.
- Contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros to File Your Claim: Once you have informed your employer of your injury and you have received proper and adequate medical treatment, you should contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros for assistance in completing the relevant paperwork. It’s important to note that even if the insurance company does initially accept your claim, this is not an admission of liability and they have at least 180 days to make a final decision. During this time, they can reduce or even cease payment with written notice, so it’s important that you have the help of qualified legal representation throughout this process.
- Document Expenses and Missed Work: The workers’ compensation process can be lengthy and difficult to endure. In addition to the physical pain and emotional stress caused by your injuries, the paperwork will begin to pile up. Still, it is vital that you document all expenses related to your injury, as well as all work dates that you miss. This information will be an imperative part of your claim should the insurance company opt to stop or reduce payment, or if they choose to challenge your claim outright.
- Wait to Speak to an Insurance Claim Representative: Many individuals who are injured at work make the mistake of speaking with insurance representatives before they have had the chance to seek out legal counsel. Often times, these individuals will ask you to settle for an amount that doesn’t adequately compensate you for your injuries, so before you ever speak with an insurance representative regarding your workers’ compensation claim, you should seek out the qualified and experienced counsel at the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros.
The Law Offices of George A. Malliaros
At the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros, we have successfully represented hundreds of individuals who have suffered injuries as a result of their employment. Our contingent fee policy ensures that you will not pay any fees or expenses unless and until we are able to resolve your claim successfully. Please call us today at (800) 856-4449 or complete a brief form to receive a free consultation.
Lastly, please remember that there are strict timelines involved in this process and that statutes of limitations do apply for workers’ compensation claims. Contact us today, and we can begin working on your claim immediately.
Injured workers’ frequently asked questions. (2016). Mass.gov. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/lwd/workers-compensation/injured-workers/injured-workers-faqs.html
What to do if you’re injured at work. (2016). WorkplaceFairness. Retrieved from https://www.workplacefairness.org/workers-compensation-what-to-do