When someone is injured on the job, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system should provide him or her valuable benefits. However, these cases sometimes become complex and time-consuming disputes. Claimants who try to go through this process without legal representation could face difficulties and may miss out on important benefits, including the option for a settlement.
If you have suffered an on-the-job injury or illness, you may need to consult with a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer. A qualified attorney experienced with workers’ compensation settlements in Boston could work with you to protect your rights and pursue appropriate compensation for your injury-related losses.
The Claims and Appeals Process
When someone suffers a workplace injury or illness, he or she could file a claim for benefits with his or her employer, who should then submit a claim to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier promptly. At this point, the insurer has 14 days to accept or deny the claim.
If the insurer accepts the claim, the injured employee should start receiving benefits within a month. When an insurance company denies a claim, however, you have the right as a Boston employee to initiate a dispute process with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).
Any injured employee who has had a claim denied may benefit from legal representation in the DIA dispute process, as the dispute process can go through several steps from informal conciliation to formal legal appeals before judges. Ultimately, it may be in your best interest to settle your claim rather than litigate it.
Settlement Opportunities in Boston
During the dispute process, both parties may agree to settle the claim. Sometimes, this involves a one-time lump sum payment of benefits. In other instances, the parties agree to benefits being paid over time.
Forms of Settlements
A lump-sum settlement is an agreement for a single payment of a set amount of money, rather than weekly payments over time. This type of settlement could be with liability accepted or without liability. In Massachusetts, liability accepted lump sum settlements are the norm and include a legal obligation on the workers’ compensation insurer to pay for future medical treatment for the accepted diagnoses listed in the settlement as long as any post-settlement medical treatment is reasonable and causally related to the work injury. Structured settlements, on the other hand, involve payments over a period of time.
Review of the Settlement
Before finalizing a Boston workers’ compensation settlement, the involved parties must present any agreement they reach for approval to a Department of Industrial Accidents Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge.
Due to this, most claimants could benefit from having an experienced attorney negotiate a settlement on his or her behalf. Often, a lawyer who regularly represents workers’ compensation claimants could negotiate a higher settlement with the insurance company than a claimant could on his or her own.
Get Help with a Boston Workers’ Compensation Settlement Today
If you were hurt at work or are already involved in a workers’ compensation claim, you may want to get professional assistance from an experienced lawyer who understands your rights and best interests. An advocate with knowledge about the process of workers’ compensation in Boston often could review your situation and legal options.
An attorney may also be able to help you negotiate an acceptable settlement so that you could avoid prolonged litigation and get the benefits you and your family need today. To see what kind of help may be available to you, reach out today.