Carrying workers’ compensation insurance represents a safety valve for employers and the injured employee. Minus a few exceptions, including real estate and consumer goods salespeople working on commission, individuals working in interstate or international trading or taxi drivers that lease their cabs for a fee, having workers compensation insurance is a requirement for all Massachusetts employers.
While you should still discuss your workers’ comp coverage with your employer, it’s safe to assume that you would be covered if you got injured due to your employer’s negligence. That is, if your employer is following the laws of business ownership in Massachusetts.
There are many specifics about workers’ comp that the everyday American may not know. These lesser-known facts should help you increase your knowledge.
1. Workers’ compensation wasn’t around until the late 1800s
Before the Workers’ Accident Insurance Act of 1884, most companies would blame the employee for their injury, stating the employees’ negligence led to their injury. If you wanted any chance of receiving any compensation, you had to take your employee to court and prove their negligence.
While proving employer negligence is still essential when securing workers’ compensation, the competitive balance between employee and employer has balanced out over the years thanks, in part, to the claims process and the rise of workers’ compensation attorneys.
2. Workers compensation does not cover for pain and suffering
Unlike a personal injury settlement, workers comp claims cover medical expenses, lost wages and financial support for those who end up disabled but not compensation toward pain and suffering. One great aspect of workers’ comp benefits; they are not taxable in Massachusetts.
3. The injured employee can sue their employer
If you chose to sue your employer, you should be able to provide evidence indicating that your employer’s negligence was reckless or intentional. Also, you will have to waive your right to receive workers’ compensation. You cannot sue your employer if you file a workers’ comp claim.
4. Workers’ comp claims don’t end at denial
A denied workers’ comp claim may seem demoralizing, but get those thoughts out of your head. A Lockton study discovered that 67% of denied claims are converted, and most pay out more than the original claim.
Since it can take four to eight weeks from the agreement’s signing until the benefits are in your bank account, it’s important not to lose hope. The process can seem long when recovering from an injury, which is why it’s important to have a dedicated and available workers’ compensation attorney representing your best interests.