“You’d be surprised how many of our clients care about making sure what happened to them doesn’t happen to anybody else and we make sure of that.”
– Doug Sheff in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Our standing in the workplace injury community is unparalleled. Senior Partner Doug Sheff has educated and lectured other workplace injury attorneys in Boston. Additionally, he:
- Founded the Workplace Safety Task Force in Massachusetts
- Has been a leader and Board Member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCosh).
- Spearheaded the creation of the Worker’s Compensation Section as President of the Massachusetts Bar Association
- Has been instrumental in getting legislation passed to protect workers, especially on construction sites (link to Practice Area page)
- Is the only third-party attorney to have received the Special Recognition Award from the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG)
Suffice to say, Sheff & Cook is well-known throughout Massachusetts and, indeed, the country for its effectiveness with respect to the litigation of third party cases.
Most importantly, however, our team brings unparalleled commitment to worker’s rights and accountability to workplace accident cases. We fight for stronger workplace standards and fair treatment under the law. We are veterans in the litigation of both wrongful death and serious injuries, including spinal cord, orthopedic, burn, and brain injuries. We believe that every Massachusetts worker has the right to a safe workplace and fair compensation when accidents result in disability or death.
When you become a client of Sheff & Cook, you are more than just a case; you are an important part of our legal family. We care deeply for workers and working families. Often, we can provide long lasting workplace changes after a case is over. Your case may prevent future tragedy to other working families. It may save lives and the health of others for many years to come. We firmly believe that we can do “well” and “good” at the same time. Our cases have changed dangerous practices, both locally and nationally, and have prevented serious injury and deaths to working families.
Those who are responsible for safety violations, cutting corners, and allowing dangerous conditions to exist on the job site must be held accountable. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury because of a workplace accident, contact our team to discuss your options.
Third-Party Cases vs Workers Compensation
Quite often, the most important claim you will have in a workplace injury is known as a third-party claim. This claim is a separate case that is brought in a court of law. The lawsuit is in addition to your worker’s compensation case. It can be filed against any responsible party who is not your employer but who has contributed to your accident/injuries. Construction site and factory accidents often have third-party cases. Frequently, these cases may not be obvious or easy to identify. Even experienced attorneys can miss them.
As a third-party case may often provide the large majority of compensation, it is wise to consider your third-party claim first, immediately after an accident. One reason we reach beyond traditional worker’s compensation cases is to secure damages for the pain and suffering caused by workplace accidents in Massachusetts. These damages are not available under the workers’ compensation law. In wrongful death cases, we will seek to investigate any potential punitive damages available, which may significantly increase your recovery. We have often recovered millions of dollars in third party cases where the recovery in the workers’ compensation case was a relatively small amount of money.
There are significant differences between your worker’s compensation case and your third-party case. In the third-party case, you have a duty to prove fault on the part of someone or some entity other than your employer. This legal obligation can be difficult. You need to act quickly to identify and to preserve evidence before it disappears.
We’re experts at discovering the potential third-party defendants who contributed to the cause of an accident. At Sheff & Cook, we will preserve the evidence and your rights in the third party case immediately. At the same time, we will make sure that you have the appropriate representation for your worker’s compensation case. This approach allows our team to pursue the full range of claims available to you under the law. In short, we will make sure you get the very best representation to protect all your rights.
About Insurance Liens
In third party cases, there is usually a lien held by the worker’s compensation insurance carrier, who paid your medical bills and provided for lost wages. At Sheff & Cook, we fight vigorously for a reduction of the lien and a favorable allocation to you.
Recently, we achieved a 92% allocation for pain and suffering for a client in a traumatic brain injury case after an appeal which upheld the decision in superior court. An insurance company asserted a $514,903.00 lien on the third-party case, but our team argued that the allocation of the lien should be made almost entirely in favor of the client because his pain and suffering was significant. We presented medical records and statements from plaintiff’s treaters and experts supporting this argument at the hearing to approve the petition. The insurance company tried to appeal the superior court’s decision, but an appellate court upheld the ruling in favor of our client, based upon our legal argument.
Lien reduction is just another way Sheff & Cook distinguishes itself when it comes to third party practice. Our relentless dedication to pushing the limits and thinking outside of the box is what helps us obtain superior results for our clients who suffer from an injury at work.
Sheff & Cook’s Approach
Sheff & Cook’s unique team approach to workplace accident cases surpasses the services offered by other personal injury lawyers near Boston. We utilize extensive resources to support all of our third-party claims. We employ state-of-the-art technology and go out of our way to leverage the most highly recognized experts in the country in order to prove our cases. We can also employ a team of medical experts to determine the extent of spinal injuries and traumatic brain injury. We demonstrate the impact of visible and invisible injuries in the lives of our clients and develop lifetime care plans that enhance the value of settlements and courtroom awards.
We know how to help you and your family recover all of the compensation you deserve. No stone is left unturned in our pursuit of the cause of workplace accidents. In every case we pursue, we reinforce our hard work to achieve compensation for workers injured through negligence with advocacy for greater workplace safety.