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Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Law Blog

You have the right to appeal a denied workers' compensation claim

Workers' compensation insurance came about as a means to protect those who work for a living. A century ago, employers could subject workers to incredibly dangerous and unsafe working conditions. When a worker suffered a serious injury, such as a head injury, lost limb or spinal cord injury, the employer could just fire the employee, leaving him or her unable to pay for basic life necessities and medical care.

Workers' compensation insurance helps protect workers from poverty due to a work injury or illness. Employers pay a premium to insure their staff. In the event of an injury, a worker must file a claim for coverage. Typically, these cases are simple, thanks to the presence of cameras and witnesses in the work space. Sometimes, however, a worker who gets hurt on the job finds out shortly after filing a claim that one's employer is disputing the claim, resulting in a denial when he or she needs the benefits the most.

What benefits can I expect after a serious construction accident?

Imagine the scaffold you were working on collapsed and you got hurt in a construction accident. You might be down-and-out and unable to perform your job duties while recovering from your injuries. This means that your predicament is a lot more complicated than being hurt and needing to pay your doctors' bills because you won't be earning an income while you're healing.

In these situations, filing a workers' compensation claim can help a great deal. But what can you expect to receive in terms of benefits?

What can you do after a denial of your workers' comp claim?

You've worked hard, possibly for many years at the same job. You put in your hours, and you contribute to the ongoing success of your employer. Then, there's an accident at work. Maybe it was a machinery issue, or perhaps you experienced a slip-and-fall. There are countless ways to end up injured at work, which is why workers' compensation exists. This specialized insurance helps ensure that those who work don't end up in poverty due to a work-related injury.

You know you did everything that you should have. You immediately reported the injury to your supervisor or manager. You sought on-site medical assessment (if your employer provides it). You then followed up with care from a local hospital or your own doctor. In order to obtain workers' compensation coverage, you filed a claim, as required under Massachusetts law. However, after a week or two, you got a letter in the mail advising you of the denial of your claim. Now you have to appeal that denial.

Stay safe on your motorcycle in bad weather

With fall just around the corner, the weather is becoming more erratic. It could start off as a nice, sunny day when you hop on your motorcycle in the morning, but by noon, a storm could roll in and you might be trying to maneuver through not-so-optimal conditions. Part of riding a motorcycle means having the ability to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Before you jump on your bike and head out of Franklin on your next adventure, even if it is just for an afternoon, be sure you are prepared for changing weather conditions. Read below for some tips to help you stay safe when Mother Nature has other plans.

Everyone has to keep motorcycle safety in mind

When you consider the severity of the injuries that are the result of a motorcycle crash, it is easy to see why there must be a focus on preventing the accidents. The prevention methods can't focus only on the actions of the motorcyclist. Instead, they need to focus on everyone on the road working together to keep motorcyclists safe.

There are some general tips that everyone, including drivers and motorcyclists, can follow to help keep motorcyclists safe. Here are a few tips to do this:

Helmets and other safety gear could save your life in a crash

Climbing onto your motorcycle is all about freedom. You want to feel the wind rush by, with nothing but your tires between you and the road. You can go anywhere. No matter where you're headed, even if it's for a lazy Sunday cruise, you should be strapping on a helmet and other safety gear. While it may feel like putting on a helmet reduces your freedom, in reality it gives you more. When you ride safely, you're free to continue enjoying life after a serious crash.

You've surely heard it before. In fact, Massachusetts doesn't really give you a choice. You and anyone riding with you, whether behind you on the seat or in a sidecar, must wear protective helmets. Generally, these should be Department of Transportation approved helmets, with the approval sticker or markings visible. A helmet can make all the difference if you're unfortunate enough to get into an accident while on your motorcycle.

What happens if your employer doesn't offer workers' comp?

When you get hurt at work, you probably know that it should get covered by workers' compensation. After all, that's the point of workers' compensation insurance. It's meant to ensure that those who work hard won't live in poverty, unable to afford medical care, if they get injured or sickened while on the job. Massachusetts law requires your employer to obtain a workers' compensation insurance policy. Some companies, however, avoid doing so to reduce operating expenses. After all, workers' compensation requires payment of a monthly premium, and the riskier the job, the more it costs.

For those in high-risk industries like construction or manufacturing, failing to carry workers' compensation insurance could cost a lot more than the policy would. The state could fine your employer as much as $250 per day when there was no insurance. Uninsured employers are also banned from bidding on government projects for three years after a violation gets discovered. That won't do much to help you, however, if you got seriously hurt at work and discover that you can't file a claim for workers' compensation through your employer.

Motorcyclists can't always count on other drivers to drive safely

With the warmer weather, motorcycle enthusiasts are going to turn out on the roadways in droves. Other drivers on the road must pay close attention to what is going on around them so that they don't injure a motorcyclist.

Many people think that motorcyclists are always to blame for the crashes that they are involved in. This is a huge myth because motorcyclists are usually the drivers who are being safe while other drivers simply don't pay attention.

What does Massachusetts workers' compensation cover?

Many people are aware of the fact that workers' compensation covers medical care for those who are hurt at work or who develop serious illnesses due to their profession. However, there are a number of other potential benefits available to both injured workers and the families of workers who have died or been permanently incapacitated while working.

The workers' compensation system can be complicated, and small mistakes can end up costing you by reducing the benefits you receive. It is often in your best interest to work with an experienced workers' compensation and personal injury attorney after a workplace injury. Your lawyer could help you file a claim, appeal a denial or even file a civil lawsuit if your employer was negligent about safety leading up to the accident.

Teens: Hurt at work? Claim workers' compensation

You're young, and you're at your first job. You got hurt, but you have health insurance, so you feel like you should get it taken care of on your own time. That's not really right, though, because you were hurt at work, and your employer should offer workers' compensation assistance. It's important that your employer knows that you suffered an injury on the job, and you should receive access to workers' compensation benefits.

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