If you suffer an injury on the job that forces you to take time off, it could cause significant financial hardship to you and your family. Not only might recovery from an injury take up time that could be spent earning money, but the medical expenses associated with the treatment of a serious injury may add up to an unmanageable total.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are available to many employees in Dorchester who sustain injuries in the workplace. These proceeds are meant to reduce the financial burden on injured employees and their families while that employee is unable to work and produce income.
However, legal issues often arise because employers refuse to pay out workers’ compensation benefits or fail to pay the full amount an employee is entitled to receive. A Dorchester workers’ compensation lawyer could fight for the benefits you and your family need following a workplace injury or wrongful death. Call today to schedule a consultation with an accomplished personal injury attorney.
In general, every employer in Dorchester is legally required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ compensation may be paid out as compensation for medical expenses, partial or permanent disability, or death benefits. The length and value of workers’ compensation benefits depend largely on the nature of the injuries an individual employee sustains.
If the injured party and the insurer are on amicable terms, workers’ compensation is usually beneficial for both parties because it offers an alternative remedy to filing a formal legal proceeding, which could be time-consuming and costly. When workers’ compensation is paid out fairly, it provides suitable resources to injured parties or families who have lost a loved one.
Furthermore, when multiple parties are at fault, an injured employee may wish to pursue litigation against another party aside from their employer. In that scenario, an employee may potentially be able to collect workers’ compensation from their employers and damages from an additional party.
Dorchester workers must file their workers’ compensation claims within four years of the date they became aware they suffered a work-related injury. If a worker does decide to file, the Department of Industrial Accidents serves as the court system for workers’ compensation disputes in Dorchester. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Dorchester could also help with the process. The settlement process consists of four phases: conciliation, conference, hearing and review board.
Conciliation is the first step in the dispute resolution process that is scheduled after the injured party or the insurer files an initial claim. This stage centers around a meeting between the DIA conciliator, the parties, and their respective attorneys to discuss the matter, with the goal of reaching an agreement as to whether benefits should be issued, modified, or stopped.
If an agreement is not reached during conciliation, the parties could discuss the matter further with an administrative judge. The administrative judge will typically issue a temporary order regarding benefits. Either party may appeal the administrative judge’s decision within 14 days.
Matters that are not resolved in the conference may move forward to the hearing phase, which is similar to a trial. Parties have 30 days to file an appeal to a hearing decision. As a final administrative step, hearing appeals could be sent to the reviewing board where a panel of three administrative judges would analyze the evidence and ultimately affirm or reverse the conference decision.
Even if your claim is not disputed, employers and insurance companies do not often favor large payouts. For that reason, you may wish to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who could advocate for you, advise you on whether to accept an offer, and work to ensure that you and your family are receiving a fair payment.
An experienced Dorchester workers’ compensation lawyer is available to help you with your claim. To find one that might be a good fit for your case, do not hesitate to call today.