The utilities industry includes the companies that provide electricity, sewage removal, water supply, steam supply, and natural gas. Each of these services entails different activities. For example, the electric utility must generate, transmit, and distribute electricity. The water supply utility must treat and distribute water. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the utilities industry has an injury rate of 2.4%. These injuries may be potentially serious. If you are a utility worker who was hurt on the job, you should consult the experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton.Pursuing Workers’ Compensation Benefits as a Utility Worker
Utility workers often engage in dangerous work activities. Some of the serious injuries that may occur while utility workers are working include electrical burns, electrocution, slip and falls, heat or cold stress, chemical exposure, physical strain, repetitive stress injuries, biological hazards, puncturing, crushing, and driving accidents. In some cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigates the cause of an accident to determine whether it can be prevented in the future.
In Massachusetts, nearly all employees are covered by workers' compensation, no matter how many hours per week they worked or their citizenship status. These benefits may include temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, medical bills, medical mileage, vocational rehabilitation, and scarring and disfigurement. Generally, the amount of disability payments is based on the extent of your injury and your average weekly wage. They are paid out over time. A scarring or disfigurement benefit is paid in a single lump sum.
If you do not believe that your employer's insurer has given you the benefits to which you are entitled, you have a right to pursue your claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). This is a five-step process. Although you may pursue your claim on your own, it is wise to consult an attorney from the start to make sure that you protect your rights and get off on the right foot in front of the judge hearing your case.
If you are a spouse or child of a utility worker who died of serious job injuries, you may be able to recover death benefits under the workers' compensation law. These include burial expenses of up to $4,000 and weekly benefits that are equal to two-thirds of the utility worker's average weekly wage, up to the Commonwealth's maximum amount. As a spouse, if you stay dependent and do not remarry, you may continue to receive these benefits until your death. If you do remarry as a surviving spouse, your dependent children may still receive $60 each week. However, the number of children whom you have may influence the calculation. The amount paid to a utility worker's dependent children may not be more than the amount that their spouse was receiving.Consult a Workers' Compensation Lawyer in the Boston Area
As a utility worker, you have put your safety on the line. Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in filing job injury claims and looking after the interests of workers. If you develop an illness or suffer an injury on the job, Pulgini & Norton may be able to help you assert your rights. We also represent claimants in Medford, Somerville, and Brookline, as well as other Massachusetts communities. Call us at 781-843-2200 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with a workplace accident attorney.