Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation insurance pays for any medical treatment, tests, procedures and prescription medication that is “reasonable, necessary” and “causally related” to your work injury. The workers’ compensation insurer will not automatically pay for these medical benefits. Your medical provider MUST follow certain guidelines in order for the workers’ compensation insurer to pay for your medical treatment or prescriptions. Here is the general process for your medical provider to follow in order to get your medical treatment and prescription medication approved by workers’ compensation: Continue reading
There are many factors that determine the Lump Sum settlement value of a Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation claim. Some Massachusetts’ workers compensation claims may have no settlement value at all, while some may have a settlement value of several hundred thousand dollars (or more). While it is important to stress that each individual workers’ compensation claim must be evaluated individually, there are some important factors that determine if a claim has settlement value, and if so, the amount of that settlement value.
Each state administers its own individual system of workers’ compensation benefits. In Massachusetts, the workers’ compensation system is known as what is commonly referred to as a “wage loss” system. That is, if a work related injury or medical condition causes a period of disability from work that also causes wage loss, then the injured worker is entitled to weekly wage loss benefits. It should be noted that not all work related injuries (even if the injury prevents the injured worker from returning to the previous occupation that they were performing while they were injured) cause a wage loss. For example, a forty five year old employee with a master’s degree in computer science is laid off from his job as a computer software programmer where he was paid $78,000.00 per year, or $1,500.00 per week. In order to pay his bills while he looks for another job in the computer software field, he takes a job in the construction industry as a laborer. While working as a laborer, he strains his back. Although the injury isn’t serious enough to cause him to need back surgery, the injured worker is permanently disabled from working as a laborer where he was earning $1,000.00 per week. His treating doctor is of the opinion that he can return to work at a sedentary or light duty job. Because he is capable of earning more money as a computer software programmer, an occupation he is trained for, physically able to do, and pays him more money than the laborer job, he has no wage loss and would not be entitled to any weekly workers compensation after the point in time where his doctor cleared him to return to light duty work. Continue reading
OSHA has completed its investigation into the April 2014 crane accident in Bourne, Massachusetts that took the lives of two electrical workers. Two linemen, John Loughran, Jr. and Michael Boyd, both age 34, were tragically killed when the crane truck from which they were working tipped over, causing them to fall more than 150 feet to their death. Both men were working for Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corp.
In late September, OSHA announced the findings of its investigation into the incident and the fines levied on Mass Bay Electric Corp. OSHA, stating that the accident was entirely preventable, has fined the employer $168,000 for two willful violations of workplace safety standards. OSHA found that Massachusetts Bay Electric Corp. did not refer to or use readily available and necessary information that would have allowed the work to be conducted safely, resulting in the loss of two lives. Continue reading