When you are injured on the job, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. However, with work-related injuries, your remedies are likely to come from the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system rather than from a traditional personal injury claim.
If you wish to secure workers’ comp for injuries resulting from a work-related accident, be sure to contact a hardworking attorney today. A Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help you explore your options when you have sustained work-related injuries and ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation to which you may be entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Massachusetts
Workers’ compensation policies cover injuries occurring while individuals are at work or performing their usual work duties. These injuries do not necessarily take place in the workplace. For instance, if workers make deliveries as part of their regular job responsibilities, then an injury sustained while delivering packages or orders would qualify as an on-the-job injury.
However, the employee must be on the clock or working when the injuries occurred. Employees who are on their lunch breaks, running personal errands, or other similar situations when they suffer injuries are likely to result in a denial of coverage under the workers’ compensation system. Even in clear cases, however, insurance companies may attempt to deny coverage or try to argue that injuries did not occur while employees were working.
Workers’ compensation covers not only injuries on the job, but also illnesses contracted as a result of the work environment. For instance, if constant exposure to chemicals results in disease to workers, then they may be entitled to coverage under the workers’ compensation policy that their employers maintain. If you have suffered injuries due to a chemical exposure within the scope of your employment, it is imperative that you contact a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer for guidance.
Appealing Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
The state Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) handles all workers’ compensation-related disputes. Any denials or terminations in benefits may be subject to appeal by workers filing a workers’ comp claims with the DIA. This filing triggers the formal process for reviewing denials and terminations of claims by the DIA.
Parties first must attend a Conciliation, which is an informal meeting with a DIA Conciliator. Not only do these individuals ensure that there is adequate medical evidence to merit moving to the next step of the appeals process, but they also try to resolve the dispute between the parties. If the Conciliation is unsuccessful, the case moves to an Administrative Law Judge for a conference.
During the conference, lawyers for both sides present evidence and make arguments to an Administrative Law Judge, who then issues a Conference Order. Either one party or both parties may typically appeal that order. Due to the multi-layered nature of the workers’ compensation claim appeals process, enlisting the help of a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer may be highly beneficial.
Further Appeals in Workers’ Compensation Claims
If the dispute concerns the disabling nature of a workers’ medical condition, an impartial physician could evaluate the medical records submitted by the worker and conduct a physical examination. The impartial physician would then issue findings and an opinion as to whether the injury or illness is work-related, whether the worker needs additional medical treatment, and whether further improvement in the condition could occur.
If one of the parties is still dissatisfied with the opinion, that party can ask the Industrial Accidents Reviewing Board to review the case further. Beyond that, any further remedies lie with appeals to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals or even the Massachusetts Supreme Court.
A Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney May Help
Although workers’ compensation provides valuable benefits that all workers should enjoy, insurance companies are often more interested in profits over providing benefits to injured or ill workers. A Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to hold these insurance companies accountable when they fail to follow the law and provide benefits as agreed.
If you receive a denial or termination of workers’ compensation benefits, and you are still unable to work due to your medical conditions, you may want to seek legal help as quickly as possible. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your claim.