Worcester Work-Related Injury Lawyer
Personal Injury Attorney for Massachusetts Industrial Accidents
People who get hurt at work usually have some awareness of their rights under Massachusetts workers’ compensation law, but they don’t always know about their potential claims for personal injury damages from sources other than the employer.
In general, negligence by a non-employer third party can often support a personal injury lawsuit separate from a workers’ comp claim, but it’s not always easy to identify the facts that indicate the third party’s negligence. The advice of an experienced work injury lawyer can help you understand the full range of your rights after an accident at work.
Work-Related Accident and Injury Frequently Asked Questions
When you have been hurt at work, you may be able to receive further compensation beyond lost wages provided by workers’ compensation. If you have been injured because of a faulty piece of equipment or because of the negligence of another party, you may have a personal injury lawsuit. It’s important to understand the liability for your injuries and to be able to prove that the negligence of another person was the direct cause of your injuries. Some frequently asked questions regarding work-related injuries include:
1. I’ve been paid lost wages from workers’ compensation, but I’m still suffering from my injuries. Do I have any other legal recourse?
As with any work-related accident, it’s important to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer if you are still feeling the effects of your injury. While workers’ compensation benefits will replace lost wages and pay for medical costs associated with your injury, there is no financial compensation for pain and suffering and any impairment to your quality of life. If you are unable to return to work because of your injuries and workers’ compensation is not enough, it’s time to start considering a personal injury lawsuit.
2. I had a similar injury from a car accident. Is my employer still liable for my injuries?
If you had a previous injury from a car accident and are now injured in a similar way from an accident at work, your employer still may be liable for your injuries. If you received treatment for your previous injury and were medically cleared to return to work, the injury you sustained as an employee is now considered to be a new injury. A previous injury to the same area does not prohibit you from seeking compensation for your injuries.
3. How do I know if I need an accident lawyer in Worcester, Massachusetts?
When you are injured at work, it may be difficult to prove who is at fault for your injuries. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to look over your case to determine if you are able to seek damages for your injuries. Even when workers’ compensation pays you lost wages, this does not guarantee that you have a viable lawsuit on your hands. If you were injured at work and you continue to suffer from your injuries, it is possible that you can seek further damages. Pain and suffering and the impairment to quality of life are two potential aspects of a personal injury lawsuit that aren’t taken into consideration with workers’ compensation claims.
4. How will I pay for an attorney?
The first step in hiring an attorney for a personal injury lawsuit is to come in and meet with us for a free initial consultation. In this meeting, we will discuss the merits of your case and your potential for financial compensation. If we believe that you have a lawsuit that we can win, we will work out a fee agreement with you for a percentage of your settlement should you win your case. You don’t pay anything for the initial consultation, and we will discuss any fees with you if we decide to take your case.
Work Accidents We Represent
Contact a Worcester work injury attorney at the law firm of Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law, to learn about your legal options under the personal injury system, the workers’ compensation system or both. We can evaluate your case and give you an accurate idea of your alternatives under a variety of work accident scenarios:
- Traffic accident injuries suffered by professional truck drivers
- Injuries in factories or assembly plants
- Failure to Ensure Workplace Safety
- Warehouse accidents or freight yard accidents
- Injuries in office or retail buildings
- Accidents on installation, maintenance or delivery routes
- Construction site accidents
What You Should Know about Massachusetts Workplace Safety
Every person who is employed should have the peace of mind that their employer is providing a safe work area. While some positions may be at higher risk than others, there are laws and regulations on both the state and federal levels that help keep threats low and employer involvement high. In order to reduce the chances of injury or even death in the workplace, there are a number of factors that should be incorporated in every workplace.
Understand the Rules about Massachusetts Workplace Safety
There are actually a number of general rules that apply to all workplaces as well as specific workplaces that may house certain chemicals or hazardous material. These rules are compiled in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). This comprehensive list of rules provides both employer and staff with the general guidelines for what should be expected for basic workplace safety. Some of the areas that OSHA focuses on are rules such:
- Fire safety features
- Number of exits
- Emergency action plans
- Noise exposure
- Medical and First Aid
However, there are a number of sub-categories and workplace-specific rules that apply. For a full list of each rule please visit the OSHA website for more information.
How to Report Violations
In some instances, it becomes apparent that an employer is in blatant violation of OSHA regulations. If this happens, the employee has a right to report the violations. Some avenues you may take when filing a complaint are the following:
- Massachusetts Attorney General
- The Department of Labor
- Seek advice from an experienced attorney
It is important that people understand that their workplace should always be safe and if you have any questions about safety, you can certainly reach out to any of the above or reference the list of OSHA workplace safety rules.
Know Your Rights
While it may be intimidating to report violations, know that the law is on your side. In fact, OSHA makes it possible for employees to refuse to work without losing their position, if the workplace is not up to safety standards. Furthermore, people do not have to worry about losing their position for filing a complaint. Whistleblowers are protected and will not lose their job or be subject to workplace harassment. There may be no retaliation made toward a person who reports any safety issues and if that occurs, the employer is breaking the law and is subject to lawsuits or other judicial recourse. The focus of the law is to ensure that all people are kept as safe as possible and if conditions are not up to standard, then employers should be held responsible.
Failure to Ensure Workplace Safety in Worcester
Failure to Ensure Workplace Safety
Employers are required to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and health of their workers in the workplace. Unfortunately, many employers fail to do so, which often results in preventable injuries that can leave a worker disabled or dead.
An employer has a responsibility to ensure that the worker is safe in the workplace. For instance, all work procedures must be well-established in a properly coordinated manner to ensure safety. All employees must be trained to follow the correct work procedures. Unfortunately, employers often scrimp on training which results in workers failing to wear protection gear or bypassing certain work procedures with possibly disastrous consequences.
Examples of employer negligence can include:
- Failure to maintain machinery, equipment, and tools in a good condition
- Failure to provide personal protective equipment to workers
- Failure to train workers to use personal protective equipment safely
- Failure to provide an adequate amount of personal protective equipment
- Failure to train workers about identifying and avoiding workplace hazards
- Failure to conduct regular safety drills and fire drills that educate workers about the right procedures to follow during an emergency
- Failure to maintain ladders properly
- Failure to provide guardrails, railings, and other fall-prevention aids
- Failure to provide safeguards for tools
- Failure to eliminate fall hazards like slippery floors and badly illuminated stairwells
Employers Must Provide a Safe Workplace
Employers should have a written code of health and safety rules and regulations in the workplace. Posters containing these codes should be placed in prominent areas where they are easily visible to all workers. Workers should be informed about all of these codes and regulations, and new workers should undergo an orientation program where an introduction to the health and safety policies of the company is made a special priority.
All machinery and tools should be subjected to regular maintenance and servicing, and a defective or malfunctioning piece of equipment should be placed aside and out of use until it is repaired. Workers should be provided personal protection equipment and should have access to safeguards for machinery.
Peter Ventura is a Massachusetts workplace injury lawyer dedicated to representing injured workers in the Massachusetts area and helping them recover compensation for their injuries.
Experienced Worcester Work Injury Attorney
We advise workers in Central Mass and Metro West about their options for collecting the compensation necessary to make up for lost income or to cover medical expenses. If the facts of your case show that you have the right to pursue personal injury damages in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, an experienced lawyer can help you obtain just and fair compensation.
Because personal injury damages cover a wider range of damages than workers’ comp, it makes sense to work with a lawyer who can advise you about both procedures. Below is a review from one of our previous clients, Michelle:
To learn more about the full range of your rights following an injury accident at work, contact the office of Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law, in Worcester for a free consultation.