Permanent and Total Disability
In Massachusetts, all private employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance or insure themselves for certain types of harm that may happen to their employees. Benefits are paid to any individual who misses at least five days on the job due to a work-related injury or illness. The amount of money and the length of time for which it may be received depend on the nature of the harm. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of John C. Manoog III have helped many Cape Cod victims and their families pursue the money they need to stay on track after a serious accident. We have over 146 years of combined legal experience and a strong reputation among lawyers and community members for providing outstanding services to the people whom we represent. Our attorneys focus on the individual needs of each injured worker and his or her family, and we fight aggressively for the benefits that they deserve.Pursuing Benefits After an Accident
Workers who are partially incapacitated but can still work part-time are entitled to benefits in the amount of 60 percent of their lost earnings for a maximum of five years. People who are completely unable to work for a defined period of time are entitled to 60 percent of lost earnings for up to three years. An individual who is totally incapacitated can be moved to partial disability benefits after this three-year period. Both groups of workers are also entitled to coverage of all medical costs related to their harm.
Permanently and totally disabled employees are those with job-related illnesses or injuries that will prevent them from ever returning to a full-time career. These workers are initially eligible for the total incapacitation benefits described above. Once they run out, employees suffering from permanent and total disabilities are entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly wages, with potential cost of living increases. They may also be eligible for Social Security benefits.Proving Permanent and Total Disability
In order to receive permanent and total disability benefits, a worker must show that he or she is completely unable to perform any job for which he or she would otherwise be qualified. The employee also has to show that a work-related injury or illness is the “major cause” of the disability. These cases typically require proof of the lasting effects of the harm and its impact on the victim’s ability to perform daily activities, as well as his or her professional background, skills, and experience. This information may be used to determine whether the injured person can still do jobs other than the work that he or she performed at the time of the accident.
A narrative statement from the victim’s primary doctor can be critical to establishing permanent and total disability. In this statement, the physician can address the causes of the condition and the impact that it has on the individual’s daily life.The Pre-Existing Conditions Defense
One of the most common ways in which insurers challenge permanent and total disability claims is by arguing that the worker has a “preexisting condition” unrelated to the job that is the actual cause of his or her disability. Common examples include arthritis and degenerative disc disease. A pre-existing condition may make a victim ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, and it may also limit the amount to which he or she is entitled.
State law places the burden of proving this defense on the insurer. Nevertheless, substantial medical records and other persuasive evidence can help protect a worker against this tactic.Discuss Your Benefits Claim with a Knowledgeable Massachusetts Attorney
At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog III, we have been successfully fighting insurance companies for more than two decades. Founding partner John C. Manoog III worked as an insurance defense lawyer early in his career. This experience gave him valuable insight into strategies that insurers employ to reduce payouts and ways to maximize the benefits that an injured client receives. To find out more about what we have achieved, take a look at our recent successes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Massachusetts by an accident at work, our disability benefits lawyers can help. The skilled professionals at the Law Offices of John C. Manoog III offer free consultations, and we are happy to travel to you if you can't make it to our offices in Hyannis and Plymouth. Call us at 888-262-6664 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Nós Falamos Português.