Recovering Lost Wages After a Work Injury in Massachusetts

Each year, the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents records over 60,000 workplace injuries and illnesses, highlighting the prevalence and impact of workplace accidents in the state. Workers’ compensation benefits play a huge role in aiding injured employees by covering essential costs such as medical expenses and lost wages, enabling them to focus on recovery and eventually return to work.

Suffering a work-related injury can be a distressing experience, especially when it leads to lost wages and financial instability. If you’ve been injured on the job, understanding your legal rights and how to navigate the options available to you is essential. Furthermore, you may be entitled to additional compensation if employer negligence played a role in your injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Massachusetts

One of the primary avenues for recovering lost wages after a work injury in Massachusetts is through the state’s workers’ compensation program. The benefits available to you may include:

  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) — If your injury prevents you from working for more than five days, you may be eligible for TTD benefits. These benefits typically amount to 60% of your average weekly wage.
  • Partial Disability Benefits — If you can work but earn less due to your injury, you may be eligible for partial disability benefits. These benefits compensate for a portion of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits — In cases of permanent impairment, you may receive compensation based on the extent of your disability and its impact on your earning capacity.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation — If you cannot return to your previous job due to your injury, workers’ compensation may cover vocational training or job placement services to help you transition to a new role.

How to Calculate Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In Massachusetts, workers’ compensation benefits are calculated based on the injured worker’s average weekly wage (AWW) prior to the injury. The key steps involved in calculating workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Determining Average Weekly Wage (AWW) — The AWW is typically calculated based on the worker’s earnings during the 52 weeks immediately preceding the injury. This includes wages, tips, bonuses, and other forms of compensation.
  • Calculating Benefit Amount — The benefit amount is generally set at 60% of the worker’s AWW. This means that an injured worker can receive weekly benefits equal to 60% of their pre-injury average earnings.
  • Maximum and Minimum Benefit Levels — There are maximum and minimum limits set by Massachusetts law on the amount of workers’ compensation benefits that can be paid out. The current maximum weekly benefit for total disability is 100% of the state average weekly wage (SAWW), subject to adjustment annually. The SAWW is determined by the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance.
  • Duration of Benefits — The duration of benefits can vary based on the severity of the injury. For temporary total disability (TTD), benefits can continue until the worker is able to return to work or reaches maximum medical improvement. Permanent disability benefits may be awarded if the injury results in a lasting impairment that affects the worker’s earning capacity.

When Workers’ Comp Isn’t Enough

While workers’ compensation provides vital benefits, there are instances where it may not fully address the financial impact of a work-related injury. If employer negligence contributed to your injury, you may be able to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury claim. This can include compensation for lost wages and medical expenses beyond what workers’ comp covers, as well as compensation for emotional pain and suffering.

Contact Altman & Altman, LLP Today

At Altman & Altman, LLP, our dedicated work injury team understands the challenges injured workers face when trying to recover lost wages and navigate the workers’ compensation system. We have extensive experience advocating for our clients’ rights and maximizing their compensation. If you have questions about recovering lost wages after a work injury in Massachusetts, we are here to help. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.


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