Many people in Boston associate overexertion injuries with sports and other recreational accidents, but overexertion injuries also happen at work. These injuries occur in all types of work settings, not just those involving regular physical labor. An administrative assistant lifting a heavy file box is just as likely to suffer an overexertion injury as a construction worker lifting a heavy beam or a retail worker re-stocking a shelf.
Employees injured on the job are entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits, but initial claims may be denied by insurers. If you are suffering from an overexertion injury and need help filing a workers’ compensation claim or appealing a denied claim, consult a Boston overexertion injury lawyer. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer is familiar with the process and could help you pursue the benefits you need.
The Process of Receiving Compensation for Overexertion
Most overexertion injuries occur while lifting an object, but actions involving pulling, pushing, turning, throwing, and carrying can also cause an overexertion injury that results in damage to joints, ligaments, and muscles. While some people who suffer this type of injury will ignore it and hope it improves on its own, it is better to take action as soon as possible to prevent a problem from growing worse.
After workers overexert themselves, they should seek medical care and inform their employer about the incident. These two steps are necessary to file a workers’ compensation claim and the sooner they are taken, the stronger the claim will be.
It is the employer who initially reports the incident and overexertion injury the insurance company based on the information reported by the employee. If the insurer denies a claim, or if the employer refuses to report the incident to begin with, the employee can file a workers’ compensation claim through the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).
The Four Stages of Resolving Workers’ Compensation Disputes
If a worker suffering from an overexertion injury seeks workers’ compensation benefits and is denied, the DIA has a four-stage process for resolving the dispute. These are:
- Evidentiary Hearing
- Appeal to the DIA Reviewing Board
During a conciliation, the parties involved and their attorneys meet informally with a staff member from the DIA to review the medical evidence. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, a conference is scheduled in front of an administrative judge where the evidence is reviewed again. The judge will then issue a ruling, either giving the payment of benefits or denying the claim.
If the judge denies the claim, or if one party disagrees with the judge’s order, the next stage of appeal is a full evidentiary hearing. This is handled like a trial and requires participants to follow the Massachusetts rules of evidence. The final stage of appeal is a review before a panel of three administrative judges on the reviewing board. For help with resolving a workers’ compensation dispute, consult with a Boston overextension injury lawyer.
Speak with a Boston Overextension Injury Attorney
Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, it should be simple for workers to obtain the benefits they need when they are injured on the job. Unfortunately, the process has now become almost as complex as a full lawsuit and it may be helpful to applicants to have representation from an attorney at the outset of the claim.
An experienced Boston overexertion injury lawyer could advise you of the steps to take—and to avoid—to increase the likelihood of early success with your case. To find out how a workers’ compensation attorney could help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to, contact the firm today.