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One injured on the job, another killed in backhoe accident


Recently, one Massachusetts DPW worker was killed and another was injured in what officials are calling a "freak accident." The employees were dispatched to deal with a broken water line when the accident occurred. According to the Middlesex District Attorney, a backhoe was accidentally moved forward, causing the backhoe's stabilizer to strike the two workers. The injured worker remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Massachusetts' workers put life and limb on the line every day at their jobs, whether or not they realize it. So called "freak accidents" can occur anyplace at any time. Oftentimes unsafe working conditions contribute to the likelihood of a work-related injury, while improper training can play a role as well. Those who are injured on the job are often left in serious physical pain and are rendered unable to work, and therefore must try to survive without a wage.

Workers' compensation should help these individuals cover many of their costs. This money is usually granted when an injured employee can show he or she suffered injuries due to an accident that arose out of and within his or her scope of employment. If granted, this compensation can help cover medical expenses and lost wages. If the workplace accident results in death, then the deceased's surviving family may be able to recover similar benefits.

Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes deny these claims. Many times these denials accuse the worker of having a preexisting injury at the time of the accident or that he or she was outside his or her scope of employment at the time of the accident. When this happens, the injured individual should consider speaking with a legal professional. A Massachusetts attorney experienced with workers' compensation cases will gather the best evidence available to fight the denial. If successful, the challenge will lead to an overturning of the denial, and the worker will obtain the compensation to which he or she is entitled.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Long-time Natick DPW employee killed in 'freak accident"; co-worker injured," John R. Ellement, Feb. 5, 2014

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