Articles Posted in Massachusetts Workers Compensation Law

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Can You Sue Your Employer in Massachusetts For A Workers Compensation Accident?

Many times I receive this question from new clients.  It is a reasonable question as one would assume you may sue your employer in Massachusetts for a workers compensation accident.  Certain times you can sue your employer, but in Massachusetts, you may not for a workers compensation accident.  What you may do is pursue a claim for workers compensation benefits with your employer’s insurance company.

The Massachusetts workers compensation statutory framework issues many advantages to injured workers (you can recover benefits even if you are at fault; speedy judicial resolution).  However, with these advantages comes the disadvantage of not being able to sue your employer.

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My office is now handling Massachusetts workers compensation cases.  If you, a loved one, or a friend, has been injured on the job, call my office for a free consultation.  I look forward to helping you.

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Absolutely.  The attorney/client relationship is based on a mutual and voluntary contractual relationship.  The client can exit the relationship at any time.  In fact, you are allowed to fire your Massachusetts personal lawyer at any time and you don't even need a reason for doing so.

I find that many people who call me and are interested in changing lawyers are doing so because they feel their lawyer is not communicating with them.  If your lawyer is not calling you back and/or not keeping you updated on your case, you have the right to change lawyers.  You may, however, be responsible for paying the lawyer back the expenses the lawyer put into the case. 

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Absolutely.  The attorney/client relationship is based on a mutual and voluntary contractual relationship.  The client can exit the relationship at any time.  In fact, you are allowed to fire your Massachusetts personal lawyer at any time and you don't even need a reason for doing so.

I find that many people who call me and are interested in changing lawyers are doing so because they feel their lawyer is not communicating with them.  If your lawyer is not calling you back and/or not keeping you updated on your case, you have the right to change lawyers.  You may, however, be responsible for paying the lawyer back the expenses the lawyer put into the case. 

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Most if not all Massachusetts personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability cases are taken on a contingency fee basis.  What does this mean?  I found the following informative and articulate post over at injuryboard.com authored by attorney Scott E. Smith.  Here is the post:

Abraham Lincoln once said, "A lawyer's time and advice is his stock in trade." In essence, asking an attorney for his advice is no different than asking an accountant to set up a business plan or do your taxes, a doctor to examine you, render a diagnosis and prescribe treatment or hiring an electrician to fix the wiring of your home. Nonetheless, many people are under the impression that calling a lawyer and asking a question is free. Although most lawyers will gladly answer preliminary questions regarding a legal matter, when it is determined a lawyer is needed, a fee contract is required.

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Most lawyers charge by the hour, as do most professions. Depending upon the lawyer's qualifications, experience and expertise, the hourly rate will vary. However, there are situations attorneys will work for a client on a contingent basis or on a reduced hourly rate and negotiated lower percentage. A contingency fee allows a lawyer to charge a client a percentage of money recovered in behalf of the client in a given case. A contingent fee contract has been referred to as the "poor man's key to the courthouse" because many individuals who are in need or require the assistance of an attorney cannot afford an hourly rate.

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Someone Injured Me But I Can’t Afford To Hire An Attorney!

Not to worry.  One of the hallmarks of personal injury law is that the injury victim does not get billed an hourly rate.  Rather, the legal fee is a percentage of the gross amount recovered for the client.

Nearly all Massachusetts personal injury lawyers – as well as personal injury lawyers in other states –  take motor vehicle accident cases on a contingency fee basis.  What that means is that your attorney will take 33 1/3% (or possibly more if your case goes into suit) of any settlement or judgment amount as his/her legal fee at the conclusion of the case.  If your attorney advances any costs in prosecuting your claim, it is you that is ultimately responsible for any such costs.  Massachusetts workers’ compensation cases are also handled by contingency basis, and the amounts are set by law.

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One of the first questions I ask a potential personal injury client is whether he has made any claims in the past. Whether it be a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall or some other claim, it is important for me to know this information. The reason is that the claims adjuster and the defense attorney (if the claim goes into suit) has access to a claims index. If you have made claims in the past, they will appear in the claims index and will come up on a search.

Therefore, before meeting with your attorney for the first time, think back to any claims you have made in the past and write them down on a piece of paper. Write down the approximate date of the accident, the type of accident it was, and any injuries you suffered as a result.

It is better that your attorney learn of these accidents at the beginning of the case, rather than during your deposition when the defense attorney will be sure to bring them up to weaken your case.

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Helpful Tips for Those Going Through the Insurance Claims Process

The aftermath of an auto accident, slip and fall, injury at work, or any other injury causing event can cause great stress to not only the injury victim, but also to his or her family.  Oftentimes, the experience of going through the personal injury claim process can be just as anguishing as the personal injury event that lead to the claim.

In order to make the aftermath just a little easier for you, here are my tips to those who have an attorney and are going through the typically frustrating and lengthy personal injury claim process:

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This happens quite a bit to innocent, hard-working people who are hurt on the job due to no fault of their own.  What can be done in this situation when there is no workers' compensation insurance available?

In Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents has a Trust Fund which is set up for this very purpose.  The Trust Fund steps in when there is no workers compensation insurance, so the injured employee at least has some remedy.  It is worth noting that there are very, very severe penalties for not carrying workers' compensation insurance in Massachusetts, as there should be.

 

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