Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim
An accident at work can be traumatic and painful. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, it is important to protect yourself and talk to an experienced workers compensation attorney in Massachusetts. The workers’ compensation process is complicated. One error can result in denial of claims, denial of treatment, or termination of employment.
If you have contracted an illness at work, or sustained a workplace injury, our workers’ compensation attorneys at the Bellotti Law Group, P.C. can help. We have over 38 years of expertise in dealing with workers’ compensation cases. Each of our workers’ compensation attorneys are well prepared to help clients and their families receive the compensation they deserve after a work-related injury. Contact us today at 617-225-2100 for a free consultation.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured at Work?
After you have been injured, you should receive medical attention immediately. In Massachusetts, employees are required to have workers’ compensation coverage for their injured employees. This insurance coverage provides compensation to employees that have been injured on the job, or have contracted a work related illness. If you do not receive immediate medical attention after your injury or illness, insurance companies will argue that the injury did not occur on the job, or try to diminish the severity of your injuries. These arguments can allow companies to deny or delay your benefits.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
If you are unable to work for 5 calendar days due to a work injury, then you qualify for Workers’ Compensation. After you have missed 5 calendar days of work (these days do not need to be consecutive), your employer has 7 days to report the injury to its workers’ compensation insurance company. When the insurance company receives the first report of injury from your employer, they have 2 weeks to pay the injured employee or to deny benefits. If you have not heard from the insurance company after 30 days, you can file an Employee’s Claim for benefits.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Denied?
If you receive a denial from the insurance company, then you can file an Employee’s Claim for benefits. You do not have to wait 30 days to file an Employee’s Claim for benefits, if you have received a denial. The Employee’s Claim (Form 110) is a document that must be filed with the Department of Industrial Accidents in Massachusetts. You must also file the necessary evidence to start the claim process. When you file a claim, you are taking court action to have a judge order the insurance company to pay workers’ compensation benefits. This process can be difficult to navigate, and it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. The personal injury attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have over 30 years of experience and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 617-225-2100 for a free consultation today.
What Happens When I File an Employee’s Claim for Benefits?
When an employee or attorney files a claim, the claim goes through a process at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. These are the steps of the claim process:
Step 1: Conciliation
The DIA will schedule a Conciliation. A Conciliation is an informal meeting between the employer’s insurance company and the injured employee. More often than not, the employee’s lawyer and the insurer’s lawyer attend this meeting. At this meeting, a conciliator checks to see if the claim is viable, and discussions are held to resolve the dispute. Both parties must agree on a result in order to resolve the dispute. If the claim is not resolved during the Conciliation, the conciliator will refer the claim to an Administrative Judge for a Conference.
Step 2: Conference
If the employee’s claim is referred by a conciliator to an Administrative Judge, the DIA will schedule a Conference. A Conference consists of oral arguments before an Administrative Judge. This process is also informal. The injured employee’s attorney will present the Judge with medical records or evidence that support the work injury, which resulted in a disability that renders the employee unable to work. The insurer’s attorney will also present evidence to the Judge to argue against payment of benefits.
After the Conference, the Judge issues a temporary order indicating whether or not the insurer must pay the injured worker. If the judge orders for the insurance company to pay workers’ compensation benefits, the company must send payments to the injured employee within 14 days of the order. The result of the Conference can be appealed by either party if they are not satisfied with the result.
Step 3: Hearing
If the Judge’s order is appealed, the case is scheduled for a formal Hearing. The Hearing consists of the presentation of evidence before the Administrative Judge. Hearings are much like regular trials. Witnesses are called to testify, and they are subject to cross-examination by the other lawyer. After the Hearing, the Administrative Judge will issue a decision for the payment of denial of benefits. If either party is unsatisfied with the result, they may appeal the decision to a review board
Step 4: Review Board
If either party has appealed the decision determined at the Hearing, the case is brought to the Review Board. The appeal must be filed within 30 days. The Review Board is made of 3 Administrative Law Judges. The Judges examine the hearing transcripts of witness testimony and they may request legal arguments. The Review Board can overturn the Administrative Judge’s decision from the Hearing, if the decision was beyond that Judges’ authority, conflicted with the law, or was without any justification.
Contact an Attorney Today
Filing and pursuing workers’ compensation benefits is a complicated process. Having an experienced attorney on your side will greatly increase your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney can help you file the claim, give advice on the case, and accelerate the process to help you get your benefits as soon as possible.
You need the assistance of an experienced attorney. If your benefits were denied, your rights violated or your employer isn’t filing your claim in a timely manner, you will need the help of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Contact an experienced lawyer at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. for a free consultation. Call 617-225-2100.