A Massachusetts’s man was recently awarded $750,000 for injuries sustained on the job. The 52-year-old was removing ice and snow from a commercial roof during the winter of 2015. He slipped, landed on his feet and fractured his heel.
The man’s attorney argued that her client wouldn’t be able to walk normally again. There was also concern that he would have issues finding future work due to his injuries. The jury agreed and awarded the man $750,000, pending appeal.
This case is noteworthy because it provides two lessons that all workers in Massachusetts should keep in mind if they get hurt either on the job, or due to their job.
You may be eligible to receive compensation, even if your employer says otherwise
In this case, the employer was not carrying workers’ compensation coverage. Additionally, the employer claimed the 52-year-old was not an employee at the time of the slip and fall, and should therefore not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
There are many reasons why an employer may try to claim someone is not an employee, and therefore, not eligible. For example, if the worker is a contractor or a volunteer. However, this claim may simply not be true. An employer may be attempting to misclassify, which is one reason many choose to work with a workers’ compensation attorney after an accident.
Fault is not a requirement for workers’ compensation
The other key thing to remember is that the employer doesn’t have to be at fault for an employee to receiver workers’ compensation. In this case, it does not appear that the employer was to blame for the accident. However, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should still typically cover associated medical expenses and lost wages stemming from an accident.
In general, workers compensation is considered no fault. This means the person filing for benefits doesn’t have to show the employer was negligent. Rather, when filing for benefits, you just need to show that your injuries or illness are related to your work.