Boston Workers Compensation Attorney
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Attorney at Law Magazine’s Boston Workers' Compensation Local Legal Authority.
Your Boston Workers Compensation Attorney
About Richard Fitzpatrick
The reason why Richard Fitzpatrick became a worker’s comp personal injury attorney, is the same reason why he keeps getting his clients astonishing results. His background in biology means he understands the mechanisms of injuries. He knows better than most attorneys how life altering an accident at work can be.
Having grown up in the Boston area, Richard is a local. He grew up around the people he represents. This means more to him than the fact that he went to law school at the Roger Williams University School of Law. Or the fact that he was highly recognized as an up-and-coming star attorney by being Vice President of the Student Bar Association and serving as president of the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
He understands that his clients are people. People with families and mouths to feed. Richard considers his own family the “most important thing in the world”. That’s probably the reason why he has such a sterling reputation in the community and online. The profile of his law firm, Fitzpatrick & Associates, is drenched in positive reviews. One client after another talk about the attention and care they received. He truly wants the best outcome for his clients and takes a personal interest in each of them.
Richard believes that his clients are hardworking people. They would rather be working than going through a stressful legal battle. He attempts to relieve as much of that stress as possible by using the law to their advantage. Specifically, his unparalleled knowledge of the laws in Massachusetts means he’s not afraid to take on companies and insurance firms.
In summary, Richard Fitzpatrick is a local worker’s comp personal injury attorney with local knowledge, giving him a unique edge to help his clients.
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What is Boston Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the practice of law in which an attorney represents either an employee or an employer in a specific injury case that occurred during an employee’s regular conduct of their job duties. Workers’ compensation also oversees the compensation of the dependents if a worker is killed while on the job. This is not limited to just immediate injuries that occur on a job site but can also include injuries that develop from exposure to dangerous materials over a period of time.
Companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers as they conduct their normal job duties. With that in mind, many companies develop certain rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their employees as they conduct these duties. Even with these precautions companies are able to implement, not every job can be safe 100% of the time. If, in the course of normal work duties (and under the safety guidelines outlined by the company) an employee is injured, the employee is within his or her rights to file a workers’ compensation claim against their employer with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts.
Most companies are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are definitely holes in these policies though. Not all employees are covered under this policy and some states don’t require full coverage for undocumented workers or certain types of employees including:
- Domestic workers
- Agricultural workers
- Seasonal workers
- Undocumented workers
Workers’ compensation law is subject to both federal and state (Massachusetts) law. The federal laws typically only apply to government employees or those who conduct interstate commerce. Each state carries different laws regarding their individual workers’ compensation system.
Should the Injured Worker File a Workers’ Compensation Claim or a Civil Lawsuit?
The injured worker will need to determine if they will be filing a workers’ compensation claim or a civil lawsuit against his or her employer. This decision may be determined by the state law, it may be an optional choice, or the case may warrant both paths. It is sometimes difficult to determine which is the best route, and consultation with a top Boston workers’ compensation lawyer is essential. If an employee files a workers’ compensation claim (in most cases) they forfeit their right to file a civil lawsuit against his or her employer for negligence or other damages.
Under a workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker will be compensated for lost wages, medical costs, and occupational rehabilitation expenses as well as a payment for the loss of use of any body part or the death of the employee.
If the worker is exempt from the workers’ compensation program or is able to file a civil lawsuit (and it would be the better option for them), they may pursue that route.
Under a civil lawsuit, a judge will render a decision based on the evidence presented accusing the employer of fault.
Additionally, a civil lawsuit may be filed by an injured worker against a third party in addition to his or her workers’ compensation claim against the employer. The employer is also empowered to file a civil lawsuit against a third party to recover the expenses paid under the workers’ compensation claim (if the third party is at fault – i.e., faulty equipment, etc.).
The Levels of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Like any legal case, there are levels of severity that need to be considered. Under the umbrella of workers’ compensation claims, there are four different levels of severity.
Level 1: Medical Treatment Only
The first is Medical Treatment Only. In this case, the injury is mild. The employee is able to seek medical attention to the injury and have the issue resolved with no time lost on the job. In this case, the worker will seek compensation for his or her medical expenses only.
Level 2: Medical Treatment with Lost Time From Work
The second level would be Medical Treatment with Lost Time From Work. Under this scenario, the employee may have experienced a more severe injury which not only necessitates medical attention but time off from work. In this case, the employee would seek compensation for his or her medical expenses as well as the lost income from the missed time.
Level 3: Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Current Work
Under the third level, Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Current Work, we witness an even more severe level of injury. In this case, the employee was injured so severely that he or she is unable to perform the duties they were previously able to perform. This typically applies to more physical jobs. In this case, the employee would be seeking compensation or medical expenses as well as his or her change in lifestyle. In this case, the workers’ compensation attorney in Boston would most likely need to engage a Forensic Economic specialist to determine how the injury will affect their job prospects long-term.
Level 4: Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Any Work
The fourth level of injury is Medical Treatment and Injuries that Prevent the Employee from Returning to Any Work. This type of claim typically involves severed limbs, blindness, paralysis, or other catastrophic injuries. In this case, the Boston workers’ compensation attorney would again engage the services of a Forensic Economic specialist to determine the amount of lost wages the injury caused the worker. Additionally, if the injury creates a situation in which the client needs any type of long-term care, that would be considered in the claim as well. In some cases, benefits can continue for the duration of the employee’s life.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims
There are certain industries that are more prone to worker injuries. Fishing and logging are the two highest. Some other high-risk industries involve pilots, roofers, waste management professionals, steelworkers, farmers, truck drivers, and landscapers. Obviously, an employee could be injured no matter where they work, but these industries are more inherently dangerous.
Following are some of the more common workers’ compensation claims:
- Overexertion (muscle or joint damage)
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Struck by fallen object
- Transportation accident
- Machinery accident
- Unintentional overdose
- Workplace violence
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Fires or explosions
Reach out today to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal needs and the availability of Richard Fitzpatrick to handle your matter.
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