Workplace injuries involving the upper body are unfortunately common. These on-the-job injuries may be caused by any pushing, pulling, or lifting motion such as a back strain from lifting a heavy file box.
An employee is generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for upper body injuries suffered in the course of employment. However, workers’ compensation insurers are notoriously reluctant to pay claims, so an injured employee might have difficulty obtaining the necessary benefits.
A Boston upper body workplace injuries lawyer who understands these types of cases could help with the application and denied claims process to work toward a successful outcome. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney could review the details of your situation and develop a strategy to help you receive the benefits you deserve.
Pre-existing Conditions May Not Bar Claims
However, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 152, §1(7A) states that when a pre-existing condition combines with an injury or disease that is covered by workers’ compensation, and the injury or disease that is attributed to the work activity is “a major cause” of the disability and need for medical treatment, the claim for benefits should not be denied.
Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Employees who suffer an injury to the upper body while at work should report the incident to their employer as soon as possible. The employer will then report the incident and injury to the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
The employee should also seek prompt and thorough medical attention. Not only does such care provide the best chance for physical recovery, but it also provides evidence when seeking monetary compensation through a claim or lawsuit.
If an employer refuses to report the incident to its insurance company or if the claim is denied, the employee may file a workers’ compensation claim through the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) by filing a Form 110 Employee Claim. Then a claims process begins that can extend through four stages of conciliation, conference, evidentiary hearing, and a three-judge panel of the DIA Reviewing Board.
In a conciliation, the injured employee, the insurer, and their attorneys meet informally with a DIA staff member to resolve the dispute after reviewing medical documentation. In a conference, the employee, the insurer and their attorneys meet with an administrative judge to review evidence. The judge may then issue an order.
In a full evidentiary hearing, the Massachusetts rules of evidence apply, and the case is handled like a trial. If the hearing decision is appealed, the case is heard by a three-judge panel of the DIA Reviewing Board.
Employees seeking benefits should seek the representation of a Boston upper body workplace injuries attorney during the appeals process to increase their chance of a favorable outcome. The insurance company will likely make use of experienced legal staff, so injured employees deserve to have a similar legal advantage.
How a Boston Upper Body Workplace Injuries Attorney Could Help
Injuries to the upper body can make it difficult to work and engage in daily activities. Those injured on the job may be entitled to recover benefits to cover the costs of medical expenses and provide payments for lost wages.
If you were injured during the course of your job duties, a knowledgeable Boston upper body workplace injuries lawyer could help you pursue the available benefits to help you recover. Consult with an attorney today to discuss your legal options and begin moving forward with your life.