Springfield Workers' Compensation
Sitting on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River, Springfield, Massachusetts is the cultural and economic capital of the Connecticut River Valley. With a population of more than 153,000, it is the third largest city in MA. The Hartford-Springfield region (Hartford, Connecticut lies 24 miles south) has been dubbed the Knowledge Corridor because it boats more than 32 institutions of higher learning. Springfield is sometimes referred to as “The City of Firsts” due to the many innovations born here. For all of these reasons and more, Springfield is a wonderful place to live, work, and get an education.
With such a strong economy, Springfield is home to many businesses…and many workers. If a worker gets injured on the job in Springfield, what rights does he or she have?The Purpose of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation exists to protect both employer and employee. If you are injured on the job, you are generally eligible for workers’ comp benefits, which typically cover a portion of your wages if you are unable to work. Most work-related injuries and illnesses are covered, even if the accident was your fault. But how does workers’ comp protect the employer? Generally speaking, when you accept workers’ comp benefits, you waive your right to sue for the covered injury or illness.What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
If you are injured on the job, you may be unable to return to work for a period of time. Lost wages and medical costs can be financially devastating, especially if you’re the family’s primary income earner. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that prevents significant losses due to a work-injury or illness. Depending on the situation, workers’ comp may cover:
- Medical expenses
- A portion of your lost wages
- Retraining expenses
- Compensation for permanent injuries
- Survivor benefits
Lost wages are usually replaced at two-thirds of the average wage, with a capped maximum amount. Although less than the worker’s normal rate of pay, workers’ comp benefits are not taxed.Work Injury Statistics
Work injuries and illnesses are more common than most people think. The following statistics illustrate the prevalence of work-related accidents.
- In 2015, there were about 2.9 million workplace injuries and illnesses in private
- industry occupations.
- In 2014, more than 4,000 workers died on the job and 50,000 died from work-related diseases.
- In public sector jobs, such as elementary schools, law enforcement, and hospitals, there were more than 750,000 injury and illness reports in 2015.
Unfortunately, employers don’t always make the workers’ comp claims process easy. The help of a skilled Springfield MA workers’ comp attorney is essential to ensure that you obtain the benefits you deserve in a timely manner.OSHA Guidelines
Fortunately, there has been a steady decline in workplace accidents. The decline is largely due to the strict guidelines put forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A few examples of OSHA’s guidelines include:
- Take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- Walkways should be kept clean, dry, and free from debris.
- Anyone working on elevated surfaces should be equipped with fall protection, including harnesses and guardrails.
- Some dangerous jobs require specialized training.
Despite OSHA’s strict regulations, some employers are more concerned about protecting their bottom line than their employees. A Springfield MA workers’ comp attorney can help you determine if negligence played a role in your injuries.Was Your Employer Negligent?
Workers’ compensation covers most work-related injuries and illnesses, but what if negligence played a role in your injuries? In some situations, you may be able to obtain additional compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs.
Your employer must take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety while on the job. When an employer fails to do this, it may be liable for any damages you incurred.Occupations with the Most Workers’ Comp Claims
Certain occupations are inherently more dangerous than others. A 2015 study by the Insurance Information Institute (III) looked at the leading occupations for workers’ comp claims. The top 10 industries were:
- Truck drivers
- Nursing assistants
- Maintenance workers
- Law enforcement
- Retail sales people
- Registered nurses
- Delivery service drivers
- Stock clerks
A Springfield MA work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured on the job.Most Common Work-Related Accidents
Accidents can happen in countless ways, but certain accidents occur more frequently than others. The workplace accidents below are the most commonly cited in workers’ comp claims:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Burns or explosions
- Chemical exposure
- Falling objects
If you have been injured on the job, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. Most workers who are injured on the job are eligible for workers’ comp benefits, but application errors can result in delayed or reduced benefits. Further, if negligence was a factor, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will analyze the details of your case to determine the best strategy for moving forward. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.