Workers’ compensation is a system of benefits used by states to compensate employees of private and government employers when they are injured at work. In the state of Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation insurance covers almost all employees in Massachusetts. To be compensable the injury must occur within the course and scope of the employment. Being injured by falling debris while leaving the constructions site, you would have a workman’s comp claim. You might also have a third party personal injury claim against whoever caused the debris to be falling, if it were dropped by someone other than your employer.
You are entitled to file for workers compensation benefits if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, or are a dependent of a worker killed on the job. Employers are required to visibly display the name and address of its Workers’ Compensation insurer and policy information.
To qualify for workers’ comp disability benefits, you must have a work-related injury or illness causing disability for five calendar days. However, the days do not need to be consecutive. If you have reported an injury to your employer and are out of work for more than five days, your employer is required to file an Employer’s First Report of Injury (Form 101). It is filed with both the insurance company and the DIA. Within 14 days of receiving the Form 101, the insurance company is required to pay workers compensation benefits to the employee or send a Notice of Denial to the employee by certified mail.
While employers and insurers do pay many claims, they often don’t. When they do pay it is usually paid “without prejudice” and later disputed. If the insurance company does not pay you promptly or pays you “without prejudice”, having legal counsel to protect your rights and interests is highly recommended due to the complex nature of the workers’ compensation law.
In the event you receive a Notice of Denial from the insurance company or receive nothing from an insurance company by 30 days after the date of injury, you are then entitled to file a claim with the DIA for workers compensation benefits. To do so you will need medical documentation of your injury. In addition, there are very specific requirements to properly file a claim. If this happens to you, having an experienced workers compensation attorney working for you can make all the difference.
At Krasnow, Keller & Boris we handle workers compensation cases. Call us for a free consultation.