While some workplaces are inherently more dangerous than others, employees can sustain injuries and develop medical conditions in any workplace. When you suffer illness or injury while on the job, you are entitled to file claims through the workers’ compensation system. A Wakefield workers’ compensation lawyer can help guide you through the often lengthy and complicated process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers who attempt to handle workers’ compensation claims on their own may find themselves helpless against the aggressive tactics of a large insurance carrier. When you already are in a vulnerable condition due to your medical condition or injuries, you should not have to fight for the benefits that you deserve on your own. A detail-oriented injury attorney skilled in handling workers’ compensation cases may be able to represent your interests and help obtain all available benefits.
On-the-Job Injuries in Wakefield
All injuries that workers sustain while on the job qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the workers need not be at the worksite for coverage for their injuries. For instance, if part of their responsibilities involves delivering products to various customers, a motor vehicle accident during a work-related delivery could make the workers eligible for benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are not only for employees who suffer injuries in a single traumatic accident. Some workers develop injuries over time doing repetitive lifting, bending and twisting at work that can result in a repetitive trauma injury involving various body parts including shoulder, neck and back and knees. Some workers may develop a disease due to exposure to chemicals or other hazardous substances in the workplace such as asbestos. If workers contract lung disease after breathing in chemicals in a factory for years, workers’ compensation benefits may apply. A Wakefield workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help injured, or ill employees determine their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides coverage for workers who have suffered injuries or contracted illnesses on the job, even if the injured worker was negligent in causing their own injury. All workers whose injuries or medical condition requires them to be off work for more than five days qualify for these benefits. Eligible workers can seek payment of their medical expenses and partial wage replacement from workers’ compensation.
However, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may deny claims, offer to pay reduced claims, or otherwise try to minimize the work-related illnesses or injuries. In this situation, employees do have the right to dispute the denied claim and fight for the benefits that they deserve. However, challenging the denials of claims may be more productive with the assistance of a Wakefield workers’ compensation lawyer.
Appealing Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) handles disputes arising from workers’ compensation claims, whether they are denials or terminations of claims. Employees who disagree with the decisions that they have received from the insurer may file a claim, and a DIA Administrative Judge will review the matter and may order the insurance company to pay workers’ compensation benefits. The formal review process contains several different steps before the DIA decides the dispute based on its review.
Parties to a workers’ compensation dispute must first attend a Conciliation with a DIA Conciliator which is an informal meeting to ensure that the medical evidence supports the claim and, also, to see if the insurer will reconsider its denial or termination and agree to pay workers’ compensation to the injured worker. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case then moves to a conference before an administrative judge.
Upon hearing evidence and arguments from both sides, the administrative judge would issue a Conference Order. The insurer or the employee then is likely to request further review of the order through the appeals process. Due to the complex nature of these appeals that are subject to various deadlines, injured or ill workers with workers’ compensation claims may wish to consult with legal counsel for advice.
Talk to a Wakefield Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Factory explosions, construction site mishaps, and faulty work environments could merit a workers’ compensation claim. If employees experience a denial, reduction, or termination of their workers’ compensation benefits, a Wakefield workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to assist them. To get started on your case, call today to schedule a free consultation.
In engaging the services of a personal injury lawyer, you may wish to choose legal counsel who has familiarity with the workers’ compensation system and the handling of these claims. This step may allow you to mount the most productive workers’ compensation claim possible.