What Are the Steps to Filing a Workers’ Comp. Claim in Massachusetts?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be incredibly complicated and stressful. If you are injured, you should focus on your recovery and treatment. A Milton workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file your claim and get the benefits you need, but it is still helpful to know the process you will go through.
First, you will notify your employer of your injury, and they will begin the proper paperwork for your claim. If this request for benefits is denied, you can file a claim with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). There are also further appeals steps you can take if that fails.
For help dealing with workers’ comp., always contact an experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyer. The Law Office of John J. Sheehan’s attorneys offer free case reviews. Call us today at (617) 925-6407 for help.
Filing Notice of a Workplace Injury in Massachusetts
The first step after a work injury is to get the emergency medical care you need. Go to the hospital, get the treatment, and tell them you were injured at work. This treatment should be covered by your employer. The next step will be to give your employer notice of the injury and what happened so they can initiate the workers’ compensation insurance claim.
Your employer should be able to tell you what steps need to be taken internally to give your employer notice of the injury and file any forms with the department in your company that handles these injury claims.
From there, your employer will need to report the accident and initiate a claim with the insurance company that handles their workers’ compensation coverage. This may require additional information from you, and you should speak with a lawyer right away at (or before) this stage. Your Malden workers’ compensation lawyers can help make sure that you file all proper documentation. They can also see to it that your employer has all of the information they and the insurance carrier need to accept your claim and begin payments.
Do keep in mind that payments usually are not made for the first 5 days of injury. Payments and amounts will be different depending on your average weekly wages and the type of injury you sustained. If you have any doubts about whether your claim will be accepted or whether the payments you receive are correct, contact our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers immediately.
Filing a Claim with the Massachusetts DIA
If your claim is denied by your employer or their insurance company, you can turn to state agencies to appeal the decision and get the benefits you need. The Department of Industrial Accidents accepts forms and filings from injured workers when their employers either refuse to file or refuse to accept a claim.
To file with the DIA, you will need to file Form 101, the “Employee Claim” form. You can find this form here, along with instructions about how to fill it out and submit it. As of May 2020, you have to file this form online, so talk to an attorney for help if you do not have computer or internet access at home. When filing this form, you should usually work with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney.
This form needs to be filled out completely to proceed with your claim. at this stage, there are questions on the form that deal with what your injury is and how the injury happened. Any errors or unclear information in these sections of the forms could lead to a denial. You also need to properly file this paperwork and give copies to the right parties, which a lawyer can also help with.
The Conciliation Stage for Workers’ Comp. in Massachusetts
The next step after filing Form 110 is called “conciliation.” Conciliation is an informal meeting with all parties to discuss your claim. at this stage, you and your attorney will meet with the insurance company’s lawyers and a DIA “conciliator” to try to agree to terms of payment.
At this stage, the insurance company can agree to payment or lump-sum amounts or other results that could resolve your case. Your lawyer will be present to negotiate on your behalf and produce any records necessary to get you the benefits you need.
If the scheduling process is too slow and you need your benefits faster, there are steps your attorney can take to file a form (Form 131) requesting a speedy conference. However, you must demonstrate that you have a hardship that requires your conference to be moved up – and there is no guarantee that the request will be approved.
Further Appeals when Filing for Workers’ Comp. in Massachusetts
If, at this stage, you and your lawyer cannot work out an agreement for workers’ compensation benefits with your employer’s insurance carrier, there are additional steps you can take. Your Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers can guide you through the process.
After conciliation, there are various conferences before a hearing can be held. at a hearing, you can present evidence, call witnesses, and take other steps to present your case. Your attorney will represent you throughout the hearing and argue in favor of your benefits. The worker’s comp. insurance company and their lawyers will argue against compensation.
If you want to further appeal after being denied benefits at a hearing, you can take your case to the DIA’s Reviewing Board. This will put your case before a panel of three administrative law judges who will essentially put on a second hearing. at this stage, again, evidence and legal arguments can be put forward on your behalf to argue that you deserve and qualify for benefits.
If all else fails during this process, our attorneys can take your case to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals and argue the case before a judge.
Call Our Workers’ Comp. Attorneys in Massachusetts
For help filing your initial claim with your employer or the DIA, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan’s Wakefield workers’ compensation attorneys today. For a free case review, reach out to us at (617) 925-6407.