Articles Posted in Practice Tip

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What to do when your Employer tries to get you to return to work?

You’ve sustained an injury on the job causing you to go out of work.  You are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits.  You’ve been receiving medical treatment, through workers’ compensation, which has been slow.  Both you and your doctor feel that you are unable to return to work.  However, you’re employer begins contacting you about returning to work.

These situations are quite common, but unfortunately, there is no one single correct answer.  Every injury is different.  Every Employee is different.  Every doctor is different.  And, most importantly, every Employer is different.  There is simply no way to know exactly how any given Employer is going to react under the circumstances.

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How Much Is My Workers Comp Case Worth?

This is one of the most common questions asked of attorneys practicing in workers compensation, or any personal injury type of law.  For someone who has sustained a work-related injury, with potentially career ending consequences, this is often times their primary concern.  Are they going to be able to get enough money to support themselves going forward?

Section 48 of Chapter 152 provides that the parties to a workers’ compensation case may enter into an agreement to “settle” the claim by the payment of a lump sum amount.  In other words, the parties can agree to “close out” the case by a payment of a certain sum of money to the Employee.  As mentioned above, the main question on the Employee’s mind is usually, “how much am i going to get?”.

Unlike personal injury cases like a motor vehicle accident, or a products liability case, workers’ compensation cases are valued in a  very specific way.  The two main components to determining the monetary value of a workers compensation case are 1) the Employee’s compensation rate, and 2) the amount of time the Employee could remain on workers comp weekly benefits.  With some limited exceptions, these are often the only two factors that will go into determining a settlement amount.

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What to do when your Employer is uncooperative following an injury at work?

You’ve been injured at work. Your doctor says you’re disabled from working. You need to file a claim for workers’ comp benefits, and you need certain information to do so. Unfortunately, your Employer is refusing to give you the information you need. Though the Massachusetts Workers’ Comp law requires information of this type to be readily available, some Employers simply ignore these requirements.

Or, say you’ve been injured at work, and your Employer has sent you to their clinic to begin treatment. Many Employers have a “preferred medical provider” that they work with. In situations like these, if an employee is injured, the Employer will often take steps to “steer” the employee towards their preferred clinic. They may assure the employee that this is the quickest way to get treatment, and that they won’t be responsible for out of pocket costs. However, the problem is that this provider has both the Employee’s, as well as the Employer’s interests in mind. As a result, many Employees soon learn, or soon suspect that their doctor is not 100% on their side.

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