Whether it was your first day on the job or you were nearing the end of a long career, you went to work one morning with the same expectation. You expected that you would do your job and return home safely—unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
Instead, a work-related accident left you injured. Now, you must deal with the pain of your injury, you must get medical care for your injury, you may be out of work, and you may be suffering from long-term disabilities.
Workers’ Compensation May Help Injured Massachusetts Employees
State workers’ compensation laws require employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for employees. In Massachusetts, employers are required to have workers’ compensation for all of their employees except for domestic employees who work fewer than 16 hours a week.
When an employee is hurt during the course of employment, workers’ compensation benefits should include coverage for:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays.
- Medications and medical equipment.
- Weekly compensation for lost income during the time when the employee cannot work due to a work-related injury or illness.
- Vocational and rehabilitation services.
- Loss of bodily function or disfigurement.
These benefits are available for employees who suffer work-related physical injuries, mental or emotional disabilities, or occupational illnesses including, but not limited to:
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Joint injuries
- Burn injuries
- Eye or vision injuries
- Hearing injuries
- Depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
These injuries may occur because of a singular traumatic event, such as a fall or an auto accident, or because of the long-term effects of your work, such as exposure to chemicals or regularly repeated movements.
While specific injuries and the causes of those injuries vary, the steps that you take after a work-related accident should be the same.
What to Do After You Have Been Hurt at Work
As soon as an accident occurs or you begin to experience symptoms of an illness, it is important to:
- Seek medical attention. If you are suffering a medical emergency then it is important to go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. If you are experiencing non-life-threatening symptoms then you may choose to see your primary care doctor for initial treatment. Either way, it is important to note how and where you were hurt or you got sick to the treating physician.
- Notify your supervisor as soon as possible. This should be done as soon as you are hurt—and in writing, if possible. If you are not physically able to report your injury at the time of the accident, then you should do it as soon as possible after you receive medical treatment. Failure to notify your supervisor or employer in a timely manner could negatively impact your recovery of workers’ comp benefits.
Once your employer has been notified of your injury, your employer has a limited time to notify the insurer of your claim. However, you do not have to wait for your employer to make the claim on your behalf. Instead, you may notify the insurer directly.
Let Our Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve
Workers’ compensation may be the only way that you can recover for your medical expenses and lost income after a work accident injury. However, you should not trust the workers’ compensation insurance company to make sure that your rights are protected. Workers’ compensation insurers—like all insurance companies—maximize their profits by paying out as little as possible in claims. Therefore, the insurer may try to deny your claim or offer you less than you deserve.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies and we are dedicated to protecting all the rights of injured workers. If you have been hurt at work in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, then we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your rights and to find out how we can help you get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.