In Massachusetts, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the case of an accident or injury on the job. Some cases are clear cut enough that the process of obtaining workers’ comp will be straightforward for the employee. Such cases include injuries that are obviously work-related, don’t require much medical treatment, don’t require the employee to take a lot of time off, and don’t result in permanent injuries. Each case is determined on a circumstantial basis, depending on the nature of the job.
However, if these circumstances aren’t applicable, there might be a need to dispute the insurance company on their decision. In this case, it could be helpful to hire a workers’ comp lawyer. The lawyer will help you gather the information needed to dispute the insurance company so that you can receive your desired benefits. If needed, they can help compile evidence that includes depositions, medical examinations, and expert witnesses, all of which can help your case against the insurance company.
WHEN WORKERS COMP CASES GET COMPLICATED
Workers’ compensation lawyers can aid you when your case isn’t as straightforward as the insurance companies may need. If your claim is denied for a reason beyond your control, you can appeal this through a process that usually involves paperwork and evidence-gathering that a lawyer can help you with. If you are evaluated for permanent disability by your doctor, but your workers’ comp is denied by the insurance company, they might make you attend an independent medical examination by a doctor that they choose. During this process, they will probably give a much lower disability rating, which will decrease your benefits. In this case, a lawyer can assure that you are being evaluated fairly and that you receive your entitled benefits. Additionally, if this injury prevents you from being able to work ever again, a lawyer can assure that your benefits are sustainable for the future or until you find a new line of work.
Insurance companies might also try to reduce or deny workers’ comp by pointing to other circumstances. For those with a pre-existing condition, insurance companies will probably avoid paying for workers’ comp by blaming your condition. Lawyers can help prove your case that the injury was indeed work-related and qualifies for workers’ comp. If you receive government benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, they might be reduced by your workers’ comp. However, a lawyer can help to minimize this reduction. A lawyer can also help you get medical treatment in a timely manner that insurance companies don’t approve or take a long time to approve. If your case is carried out to the point of a hearing, a lawyer can most certainly represent you at the hearing and throughout the process.
IS IT EXPENSIVE?
If you’ve concluded that a lawyer is the best route to take, you might worry about the cost associated with hiring a lawyer. Unlike other cases, workers’ compensation lawyers don’t work on an hourly rate. Instead, they have a contingency fee, in which they receive a percentage of benefits that they help you receive. The Workers’ Compensation Act of Massachusetts sets this contingency fee at either 20% or 15% if the settlement is a lump sum.
Need a workers compensation lawyer? With offices in New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, our lawyers are on call to fight for you. Call: 508-999-2000.