Qualifying for Workers’ Comp in Springfield, Massachusetts
Workers’ compensation insurance is supposedly in place to protect you and the employer. Generally, when you are hurt while on the job, no fault is required––in theory, you should automatically qualify for benefits so long as you have to take a minimum of five (5) days off work. These five days do not have to be consecutive.
There are different benefits under workers’ compensation you can receive; it depends on the injury. You should qualify for . . .
- Permanent and total incapacity benefits when you can’t perform any kind of work;
- Temporary total incapacity benefits when you can’t perform work for more than 6 or more full or partial calendar days (in these cases, it’s expected you’ll be able to work upon recovery); or
- Temporary partial incapacity benefits when you can work but earn less because, for example, you work fewer hours or take a lower paying job.
Whenever you suffer an on-the-job injury or illness that requires medical attention, even if you can return to work immediately, you will qualify for medical benefits. These benefits cover:
- Reasonable medical care;
- Reimbursement for prescriptions; and
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from medical appointments.
Making sure you qualify and get adequately compensated is critical to your recovery. Don’t put complete faith in an employer who has other motives, but trust workers’ comp lawyers in Springfield with more than 25 years of experience handling work injuries.
If you have been injured while on the job, your employer may not have your best interests at heart. Workers’ comp insurance is expensive, and any injury can increase employer premiums. They sometimes want to ignore, deny, or reduce claims to benefit their own bottom line. That’s why you need a workers’ compensation attorney in Springfield to help you win your case.
The Benefits of Our Worker’s Compensation Attorney
At Cava Law Firm, we know the strategies employers and insurance companies use to deny or reduce workers’ comp claims. They’ll claim they are up to date on OSHA requirements. They’ll point to their written safety plans. They’ll say you didn’t see their specific doctor. They’ll say you didn’t follow the doctor’s orders. They’ll videotape you in public or at your own home while in the yard or driveway. They’ll even review your social media. At Cava Law Firm, we will review your case and advise you on your rights, including when you can see your own doctor instead of the employer’s preferred doctor. We will use our experience, skills, and dedication to prepare your case. In some cases, we can increase Social Security Disability Awards from the U.S. Government.
At Cava Law Firm, we will work hard and do everything we can to yield high benefits and lump sum awards. Contact us online or call us at (413) 737-3430 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Suffering an injury at work can make life difficult, especially if you will be out of work for any given amount of time. Below please find some of the answers to some questions we see a lot from clients who are injured at work.
But remember, these are general responses. To get a good understanding of your own situation, contact us online or call us at (413) 737-3430 to schedule a free initial consultation. It’s the only way to know for certain if you need a workers’ comp lawyer and what you should anticipate in terms of benefits.
If you injure yourself while at work or become ill because of work, there are a few steps you should take to safeguard your rights.
- Immediately inform your employer of the injury.
- Get medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be taken to an Emergency Room, or you may be able to drive yourself home. Even if you drive yourself home, get medical attention to document the injury and start a paper trail of the accident.
- Provide a doctor’s note to your employer if you will miss work for any length of time––whether it’s for one afternoon or several weeks.
- When you can, make sure your employer created a written report detailing the accident and injury,
- Contact a Springfield workers’ compensation lawyer.
At Cava Law Firm, we will review your workers’ comp claim, answer your specific questions, and advise you on your best options during a free initial consultation. So, there’s no risk to you except the risk of not getting advice from an experienced and resourceful workers’ comp lawyer and losing out on full compensation.
If your workers’ comp claim is not disputed, you could receive payment rather quickly . . . within weeks. However, only 50 percent of workers’ comp claims go undisputed in Massachusetts. For the other 50 percent disputed workers’ compensation claims, it’ll take much longer. A hearing must occur within 210 days (7 months). Though many of the disputed workers’ comp claims settle before the hearing, it’ll still take a few months. The better your Springfield workers’ compensation lawyer negotiates with the insurance company while also persisting on maximum compensation, the sooner your case may settle.
Benefits provided by workers’ compensation are two-fold: wage loss and medical care. You can receive benefits for wage losses so long as you are incapacitated due to the injury. Namely, you can receive wage loss benefits for:
- as long as you are disabled when the injury results in permanent and total incapacity;
- up to 156 weeks when the injury results in temporary total incapacity; or
- up to 260 weeks when the injury results in temporary partial incapacity.
Medical benefits are provided as long as the services are needed due to the injury or illness you suffered at work or from working. Keep in mind, though, that an insurance company can deny or stop treatment if it deems it unreasonable or unnecessary. But if that happens, you can appeal the denial with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).
To determine your weekly wage benefits, you must know what type of benefits you are receiving and then follow the calculations accordingly. To get your gross average weekly wage, you calculate the average of the 52 weeks prior to your injury date.
Permanent and Total Incapacity Benefits
You receive 66% of your gross average weekly wage; however, maximum and minimum limits are applied. The maximum weekly wage you can collect is whatever the average weekly wage in Massachusetts is at the time of your injury. The minimum is 20% of that same average. Also, you get an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).
Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits
You can get 60% of your gross average weekly wage. The maximum you can receive, however, is whatever the state’s average weekly wage is at the time of your injury.
Temporary Partial Incapacity Benefits
The most you can receive weekly is 75% of your weekly total temporary benefits. Temporary total benefits are 60% of your gross average weekly wage. So, first you calculate what you would receive for temporary total benefits (see above), and then you would get only 75% of that figure.
If your claim is denied, you won’t receive workers’ comp. You can, however, appeal a denied claim, which is done through the DIA. The DIA will review your appeal and either:
- The DIA will reject your appeal and a rejection letter will be sent to you; or
- A conciliation meeting will be set for you, your lawyer, your employer, and the insurance company to discuss the claim (but the employer does not need to attend, only you and the insurance company).
Conciliation is the first part of the dispute resolution process to avoid going to court. If a settlement isn’t reached, the conciliator provides a recommendation to the DIA. Then, a conference is set, and a judge will review the case and either order payment or deny compensation. If either party is unsatisfied, this order may be appealed, and a hearing will be set.
This process can be time consuming and harmful when you have bills to pay and healing to do. It’s even more reason to find an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help you from the very start. At Cava Law Firm, we offer free initial consultations. If you win the claim, the insurance company pays your legal fees. If we settle, the fee is deducted from the settlement. You never have to pay us out of your own pocket.
Generally, you have 4 years from the date you were injured or became aware that an injury or illness was caused by work. In some cases, the 4-year statute of limitations may not apply. A workers’ comp attorney can advise you on how much time you specifically have to file a claim.
”This was a great experience very easy and successful for me I didn’t had to do much they took care of everything I’m so appreciated I will definitely used their service again” – Ninoshkka Arriaga (Google Review)