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Cape Cod Personal Injury Blog

What are my rights if I get hurt on the job?

You may be entitled to receive benefits if you are hurt on the job or contract a work-related disease or condition which results in lost work time of at least five full or partial days.

What's supposed to happen when I get hurt on the job?

As an employee, you are protected by the Workers' Compensation insurance that all employers are required by law to provide. In Massachusetts, the agency responsible for administering that law is the Department of Industrial Accidents.  If that happens, your employer must file the Employers First Report of Injury (Form 101) within a week of the fifth day of your disability, which is your complete or partial inability to work due to your job-related injury or illness . Your employer will send one copy to their Workers' Comp insurance carrier, one copy to the DIA, and a copy to you.  The insurance company then has up to 14 days to investigate the claim and determine whether or not they should pay it.

The importance of a doctor's note

If the insurer approves the claim, you may be entitled to wage replacement benefits amounting to 60% of your average weekly wage for the time you are unable to work at all.  If you are able to work on a reduced or part-time basis, you may be entitled to 60% of the difference between your average weekly wage and your reduced earning potential.  You will receive an Insurer's Notification of Payment (Form 103) and should start to receive weekly or bi-weekly benefit checks fairly soon after that.  You will not be paid for the first five days you missed work unless your inability to work stretches to 21 days or beyond.  Whether you are able to work is a medical determination that must be made by your physician, and which must be documented in writing by your doctor each time you visit for a related exam or follow-up.  The doctor will write you an out-of-work note which indicates when (if at all) you will be able to return to your job and whether or not your duties need to be modified when you do so, but it is your responsibility to ask your doctor for it.

Workers' Comp insurance protects the employee AND the employer

Workers' Comp is designed to protect the employer as well as the employee. The first 180 days (roughly six months) after your initial injury is called the "Pay-Without-Prejudice" period, meaning that the employer MAY pay you for up to 180 days without accepting liability. During this time, the insurance company can stop or reduce your payments, as long as they give you seven days' notice by filing a Notification of Termination or Modification Notice (Form 106), which must include the reasoning behind their decision. The employer benefits by receiving immunity from court actions against them by the employee in exchange for accepting liability that is limited and determined. The question of negligence or fault is usually not at issue.


The law firm of Goldberg & Weigand, LLP, specializes in personal injury law including, more specifically, Workers' Compensation.  Our workers' comp lawyers have decades of experience and can guide you through the process of making a claim for lost wages, medical treatment, and any other workers' comp benefits to which you may be entitled if you were hurt on the job.  At Goldberg & Weigand, there is never a fee for our services unless we successfully resolve your case and you get compensation for your injuries.  In workers' comp matters, the insurer is required to pay the employee's attorney fee if the attorney represents the employee at a court proceeding and wins your case. Call (508) 775-9099, 24 hours a day, to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced Massachusetts injury attorneys.

For more information about workers' comp and the rights of injured workers in Massachusetts, visit the website of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, or go to our Workers' Comp page.

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