6. My employer doesn’t have worker’s compensation insurance. Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits or can I sue my employer?
If you were injured on or after December 12, 1985, then you can both sue your employer in a civil action and file a claim against the Worker’s Compensation Trust Fund (WCTF), which is a special fund that has been set up to pay benefits for injured employees who are working for employers that do not have workers’ compensation insurance. If you were injured before that date then your only option is to sue your employer.
7. I was hired in Massachusetts, but I was injured out of state, what state do I file my claim in?
In Massachusetts, either the place of injury or the place of hire will award jurisdiction. The National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws recommends that an employee be given the choice between these two options.
8. I haven’t received any money yet, or my check is late, what do I do?
If you have recently changed addresses, it may take longer to have the check forwarded to you if you did not inform the insurer of the change of address. If you have been receiving checks on a regular basis and your check is more than a week late, or it has been more than two weeks since the insurance company agreed to compensate you, then you should contact your attorney.
9. I have collected workers’ compensation benefits for months, but I tried to go back to work and after a week I had to leave because of my injury. Does the insurer need to resume my benefits?
Under Massachusetts worker’s compensation law §8 (2)(c), if liability has previously been established and you return to work for less than 28 calendar days and are forced to leave work due to your injury, then the insurer is required to resume payments. To start receiving payments again, you must notify the insurer within 21 days of leaving work again, and then the insurer has 14 days of receiving notice to start payments again. If liability was never established before then you would need to file a Form 110, Employee Claim.
10. I came to an agreement with the insurance company for compensation, how soon until they pay me?
Once you reach an agreement, compensation must be issued within 14 days. The insurer can wait until the 14th day to issue the payment, which means that you would receive it after the 14 days, but that is still acceptable. If you are a state employee or receiving benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund then your checks may take longer to arrive.
Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.