As a Boston work injury attorney, I frequently handle workers compensation cases that also involve Massachusetts third-party liability claims. Under Massachusetts workers compensation law, you cannot sue your employer for workers comp injuries. What you can do is file a claim for Massachusetts workers compensation benefits with the workers comp insurance company.
However, if your work accident was partly or completely caused by a third-party person or company -that is not connected to your employer – then you have a third-party claim to pursue.
What that means is you still have a workers compensation case with your employer’s insurance company. In addition, you also have a third-party claim against whoever caused your work accident.
If the third-party claim does not settle, then you have the right to file a lawsuit.
Keep in mind that if there is a settlement with the third-party, then there is specific paperwork that must be filed. Specifically, a Section 15 petition must be prepared and signed by all the parties to the case. Then, that document must be reviewed and approved by a judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents. Once the Section 15 is approved, then the settlement funds can be distributed. Please note any third-party settlement is not taxable income to you.Work Injuries and Massachusetts Third-Party Claims
- You slipped and fell at work because the third-party cleaning company negligently failed to keep the floor dry.
- You got into a car accident while on-the-clock for your employer that was caused by a third-party.
- You were hurt on a construction site that was caused by a third-party sub-contractor, or general contractor.
If you received workers compensation benefits and your third-party case settles, then by law the workers compensation insurance company has the right to be reimbursed out of the settlement for the benefits they paid you. This is called a third-party lien.
This law requires that the insurance company’s lien automatically be reduced by 1/3. This is because the law takes into account you need to pay your lawyer 1/3 of the settlement, and therefore, the insurance company should also bear the costs of legal fees and expenses incurred to obtain the settlement.Boston Work Injury Attorney Christopher Earley Can Help You
The combination of a workers compensation claim, together with a third-party claim, can quickly become very complicated. Don't make the situation worse by trying to handle the case on your own. The stakes are too high and you have potentially much to lose from even only a slight mistake. Contact Boston work injury lawyer Christopher Earley today for your free, no-obligation consultation. Our phone number is 617 338 7400 and we are excited to help you with your case. We would be happy to give you an honest legal opinion as to whether or not you have a workers compensation and/or third-party claim to pursue. Be sure to request our free book called The Truth About Massachusetts Workers' Compensation accidents which has tons of free and useful information for you. Put our services to work for you today, and be sure to check out our reviews from past clients, which we are very proud of!