If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, your injury is probably covered by workers’ compensation. Under Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws, an injured employee who requires medical treatment or is out of work for more than six days receives compensation for his medical expenses and lost income. However, workers’ compensation benefits are limited. You do not receive compensation for all lost wages. You also cannot receive compensation for damages such as physical pain and emotional suffering.
However, in a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover 100 percent of your losses and damages. Unfortunately, most employees who suffer a work-related injury are unable to sue their employer. Workers’ compensation laws protect workers by providing medical care and other benefits for a workplace injury. These same laws also protect employers from personal injury lawsuits by injured workers. The exception to this general rule is in the case of third party negligence.
Suing A Third Party for A Work-Related Injury
In some cases, a third party caused the accident that resulted in your injury. Negligent parties who are not your employer can be liable if they cause an injury, even if the person is at work when the injury occurs. If this is the case, filing a third-party claim against the at-fault party may provide more compensation than a claim filed under workers’ compensation.
For example, if your job requires you to drive a vehicle and another driver causes a car accident, you may have a third-party negligence claim against that driver. By filing a lawsuit against the driver, you may receive full compensation for all damages, including pain and suffering.
Other examples of third-party negligence claims for on-the-job injuries include:
- Product Liability Claims — Injuries that result from a defective product. The third-party negligence claim is against the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or another party responsible for the defect that caused the employee’s injury.
- Premises Liability Claims — A premises liability claim, also known as a “slip and fall” accident, that occurs on property not owned by the employer can result in a third-party claim. For example, you are delivering items to a client, and you fall on a broken step. Your claim is against the property owner, tenant, or another party responsible for the premises.
- Other Third-Party Claims – Many situations may result in a third-party claim. For example, if you work on a construction site with several sub-contracts and one of those sub-contractors cause the accident that results in your injury, you may have a claim against that person or company.
Contact A Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you suffer a workplace injury, you need to understand your legal rights regarding compensation. Third-party claims are complex. You need a workers’ comp lawyer who understands both Massachusetts personal injury laws and Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. Your attorney must understand how these two areas of law relate to your accident.
The attorneys of Tapalian Law have extensive experience handling both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims. Call our office at
to request a free consultation with a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney. We understand it may be difficult for you to come to our office when you are recovering from a workplace injury. Let our staff know if you need special accommodations when scheduling your free appointment with an attorney.
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