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Despite Massachusetts’ law mandating nearly all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, many Massachusetts’ employers choose to fraudulently conduct business without workers’ compensation insurance coverage in order to increase profits while passing the cost of work-related injuries on to injured workers, their families and taxpayers. There are several potential avenues of compensation for an employee who is injured during the course of his employment with an uninsured employer. Injured workers can file a workers’ compensation claim for wage loss and medical benefits with the Commonwealth’s Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. A claim for workers’ compensation benefits should be filed against a general contractor who hired the uninsured employer, if one can be identified. Additionally, an injured worker may also bring civil, or “third party” claims against his or her employer, a general contractor and/or any other third parties that may have caused or contributed to the employee’s injury.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ Compensation claims involving uninsured employers are governed by the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 452 C.M.R. 3.04. The first step an employee’s attorney must undertake is to file an “Insurer Request Certification” with the Department of Industrial Accidents in order to verify that the employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance on the date of the work injury. This form, which can be downloaded at the DIA’s website, certifies to the DIA that the employee and employee’s attorney has attempted to contact the employer to verify whether the employer did in fact have a workers’ compensation policy in effect on the date of the accident. After this has been filed, the DIA Trust Fund should contact the employee attorney requesting that the employee complete and sign a Form 170 (Affidavit of Employee in Application for Trust Fund Benefits). Once the Form 170 has been filed, the employee is then allowed to file his or her claim (Form 110) for workers’ compensation benefits. Continue reading