Massachusetts workers who are injured on the job often do not know where to turn if the insurer rejects their claim. There were nearly 70,000 workplace-related injuries and illnesses in Massachusetts last year, according to a report that was compiled with help from several agencies including the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Most Common Injury and illnesses
Fortunately, most of the injuries and illness that occurred in Massachusetts were not fatal. Some of the most common injuries reported included hearing loss, respiratory problems and skin conditions. Employees were divided among a number of industries with the most injury and illness reports occurring in construction and manufacturing, education and health services, and state government.
What happens after an accident or reported injury
Employees have an obligation to report workplace injuries and illnesses to their employers within five working days. Once the injury is reported, employers have an obligation to report it to their insurance company who must then contact you within 14 calendar days. If you don’t hear from the insurer, you may consider contacting the Department of Industrial Accidents Office of Insurance, and you should also consider contacting a Massachusetts personal injury attorney.
Why a personal injury attorney?
Dealing with a personal injury from a work-related accident can be very frustrating. Chances are if your employer’s insurance company has not responded to you, they are going to attempt to delay or deny your claim. This means you will need someone to help you through the process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, loss of work hours and medical expenses.
Understanding the process
Before you can begin the litigation process because of a denied worker’s compensation claim there are some things that must occur. First, the insurer has 14 days to deny your claim. Once the claim has been denied, you must then file a grievance with the Department of Industrial Accidents who will hear the grievance generally within three weeks. For most employees, this means a minimum of five weeks without any type of income being received. Unfortunately, the wait may not end there; conciliation hearings can have two outcomes–an agreement to pay benefits or a refusal to negotiate payment.
Assuming there is a refusal or a failure to reach an agreement, the parties must then schedule a date to be heard before a judge. This can take as long as 12-15 weeks. Regardless, you will need an advocate on your side to help you battle against the insurer who will likely try to minimize the settlement or to deny the claim altogether.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you through the entire process from conciliation to litigation. If you have been injured on the job and your insurance claim has been denied, you need the assistance of an attorney to help you through this process. An attorney who understands the Commonwealth of Massachusetts worker’s compensation process will help you get the compensation you deserve for your work-related injuries.
If you have been injured at work or during a work related activity, contact us for a free consultation.