You may be surprised to find out that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that you don’t have to prove that someone else, whether it is a co-worker or your employer, caused your workplace injury. In fact, you are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits even if the accident was due to your own negligence.
Why is Workers’ Comp a No-Fault System?
When you get injured at work, you are entitled to benefits ranging from the payment of lost wages to the payment of medical expenses, and from disability benefits to occupational rehabilitation. In exchange for these benefits, your employer is protected from any further legal action. This means that if you receive workers’ compensation payouts from your employer’s insurance company, you give up the right to sue your employer for negligence or other damages. Workers’ comp works by giving you the benefits you deserve, while also protecting your employer, which is why you do not have to prove fault or negligence to receive money.
Is My Employer Responsible for My Pain and Suffering?
Under Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation law, your employer is NOT responsible for paying for your pain and suffering. This is because pain and suffering is considered a personal injury claim, where you are required to prove that someone else is responsible for your injury. Since workers’ compensation works as a trade-off between you and your employer, you are not allowed to sue your employer for pain and suffering.
What if My Employer’s Negligence Caused My Injury?
If you can prove that your injuries were caused by your employer’s willful misconduct, you may be entitled to double the benefits. This is a rare occurrence, however, because you must prove that your employer’s actions were quasi criminal, intentional, or reckless. In these types of cases, you are entitled to double the medical benefits and double the weekly benefits. Speaking with a workers’ comp attorney can help you determine if you have this kind of case against your employer.
What if a Third Party Was Involved in My Accident?
Immediately after you start the workers’ comp process, you give up your right to sue your employer and your coworkers. However, you may be entitled to sue a third party for further damages. You can sue a manufacturer, distributor, or other third party that was involved in your work-related injury. This can be advantageous to you because there are no limits to the amount of damages you can recover, unlike a workers’ comp claim, and you can sue for things like pain and suffering, which you can’t do with a workers’ comp claim.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers Comp Attorney
Dealing with the complexities of a workers’ comp case can be tricky on your own. Several complications can arise which can be time-consuming and confusing if you aren’t familiar with workers’ comp laws. Talking to a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer can help you decide which kinds of benefits you are eligible for and help you receive all of those benefits in a timely manner. At Powers & Caccavale, we will fight aggressively and tirelessly to get you the best results possible.