When Should I Get a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Massachusetts?
If you have suffered a workplace injury or work-related illness, you have recourse available to obtain compensation that will help you deal with your medical expenses and lost income. You can access these benefits through a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim. Getting counsel from a dedicated Massachusetts workers’ comp lawyer is vital for the success of your claim.
This critical step cannot happen soon enough. From the very beginning, workers’ comp lawyers can identify whether you have a valid workers’ comp claim under Massachusetts law. Having a lawyer on your case can also help you prevent filing mistakes and missed deadlines. Your lawyer can advocate for you in official hearings and navigate the appeals process if the insurance company tries to deny a claim.
At the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, our Massachusetts workers’ comp lawyers’ vigorous representation starts with a free initial case assessment for your potential insurance claim or injury lawsuit. Get started today by calling (617) 925-6407.
When to Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Lawyer
After your injury, your first step should be to seek medical attention to treat your injuries and establish a record of your condition. Your second step should be to contact a Massachusetts workers’ comp attorney. In the world of workers’ compensation, everything moves very quickly, and you will want to be able to hit the ground running. There is no better way to set yourself up for success than using competent legal counsel to make your workers’ comp claim.
Your Lawyer Can Identify Whether You Have a Valid Workers’ Comp Claim in Massachusetts
Massachusetts law makes workers’ compensation insurance the primary method for injured workers to recover financial assistance for injuries suffered while on the job. This applies whether your employer negligently caused your injury or if it was merely an accident. Almost every employee is covered by some form of workers’ comp policy through their employer.
This insurance kicks in when a worker suffers an injury while at work or a work-related illness. The condition must be severe enough to affect the worker longer than five days. Note that, under Massachusetts law, this five-day period does not need to be consecutive.
To be compensable, an injury must arise “out of and in the course of employment.” While some instances of workplace injury may be cut and dry, this vague definition can cause issues for claimants. For instance, if you were involved in a car accident while driving a company vehicle, you will have to show that you were using the vehicle in the scope of your employment.
The insurance company may choose to deny your claim if they feel that the accident that caused your injuries didn’t occur in the course of your employment. Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys can educate you on the requirements and help you prove that you deserve workers’ comp coverage for your injuries.
How Can a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You with the Workers’ Comp Claim Process?
While injured workers are not required to use a workers’ compensation lawyer to pursue their claim, those who do are successful substantially more often, and often get through the claims process faster. Below are some of the areas where having a Malden workers’ compensation lawyer by your side can be a serious advantage.
Filing Your Claim
You would not believe how many workers’ comp claims are delayed or denied because of mistakes in paperwork. Massachusetts workers’ comp attorneys are aware of the common issues found in claims and can help you avoid those, as well as meet all the relevant procedural deadlines.
To get workers’ compensation benefits, many claimants will have to make their case directly to an arbitrator. Often, hearings are held before a conciliator for the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). This environment can be intimidating or overwhelming for non-lawyers, especially those dealing with serious injuries.
Appealing a Denial
Insurance companies deny claims all the time, especially when they recognize that the claimant doesn’t have legal representation. Initial denials are often used as a tactic to try to get claimants to give up on their recovery, ultimately saving the insurance company money. However, many claimants who receive denials are unaware that they have the opportunity to appeal the denial. There are several stages of appeal for workers’ comp denials, including the potential to go all the way up to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the highest judicial body in the Commonwealth. However, to exercise your right to appeal, you must adhere to very tight procedural deadlines, of which a seasoned Cambridge workers’ comp lawyer will be well aware.
Identifying a Potential Injury Lawsuit
If you were injured at work due to employer negligence, your path to recovery is almost always through workers’ compensation. However, if your injuries resulted from the negligence of another party, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that party. Personal injury lawsuits provide more in compensation than workers’ compensation claims, so they should always be identified where possible. If the accident that caused your injuries occurred as a result of a manufacturing defect in a power tool or the failure of a contractor to maintain your work area, you will want the help of a Wakefield workers’ comp lawyer to assess your best path forward.
Your Lawyer Can Help You File Your Workers’ Comp Claim in Massachusetts on Time
Notifying your employer of your injury is not the same thing as filing a claim. In some cases, your employer may file the claim on your behalf, but if they don’t, it is your responsibility to file for yourself. The time limit for filing your claim is four years from the date of the injury. In the case of work-related illnesses, the clock starts when you discover the connection between the illness and your job.
Talk to Our Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
To get a free initial case assessment from the Somerville workers’ comp lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, call us at our offices at (617) 925-6407.