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Archive for the ‘Workers’ Compensation’ Category

What Happens Next When Injured on the Job?

February 18th, 2014 No comments

While the construction industry is the first to come to mind when thinking of job related injuries there are any number of injuries sustained by employees in every field. Worker’s Compensation is available to assist people financially when they are not able to work. The insurance provides coverage for an employee who has suffered an injury or illness resulting from job-related duties. Coverage includes medical and rehabilitation costs and lost wages for employees injured on the job. If you have been injured, and have been unable to earn full wages for five or more full or partial calendar days, your employer must report your injury to their insurance company and to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). Employers are required to give the employee a copy of this report, which contains the name and address of the insurer

The good news is that half of all injured worker claims are not disputed by an insurer or employer, the bad news is that the other half are. If you fall into the latter category and your claim is disputed, the DIA strongly advises that you seek legal counsel to protect your rights and interests, due to the complexity of the workers’ compensation law. The law requires that the insurer pay the attorney’s fee if you win your case

If the insurer decides to deny your claim, they must send you by certified mail an Insurer’s Notification of Denial – Form 104 that includes the reasons for the denial and must inform you of your right to appeal the denial. If you have questions about a denial or lack of payment on these forms, contact the insurer’s claim representative. Their phone number is located in box number 6 on the form and the name of your claim representative is located in box number 5. If you have hired an attorney, have the attorney call the claim representative about your denial. The claim representative cannot speak with you about your claim once you retain an attorney.

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Workers’ Compensation – What You May Not Do Can Hurt You

July 25th, 2013 No comments

No one plans to get hurt on the job, but if you are, pretending you aren’t isn’t the right thing to do.  You may think that you’re acting in your own self-interest, but you may put yourself in a worse position if you try to act like nothing happened.  If you are hurt on the job, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1)     Report all aspects of an injury, even if no medical treatment is sought.

2)     Get names of witnesses.

3)     Make sure a supervisor is made aware of an injury, not just a co-worker.

4)     Although you must go to occupational health or employer-sponsored health program for your first medical treatment (if required) at your place of employment, your responsibility ends there.  Quickly secure your own doctor and don’t be shy about it.

5)     If you are going to be out of work for over three months, you may still be able to protect your job if you keep your employer aware of your medical status and your doctor gives a reasonable timeframe for your return.

6)     However, don’t go overboard with point #5, i.e., rush yourself back to work.  Your employer can fire you if you return to work with no restrictions put into place by the physician (a Catch-22 admittedly, as some employers won’t let a claimant back without full clearance).

7)     Hire a lawyer early on in the process, because they are free resources.

8)     Make sure you are educated as to whether your doctor is claimant-friendly or insurer-backed.

9)     Do not sign an open-ended medical release.

10) If a nurse case manager is assigned to you, be careful as they are insurance representatives.

Please contact Attorney Bruce Lipsey for further information – (781) 829-9100 or www.elclaw.com.

 

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Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits is Not Easy

June 25th, 2013 No comments

There is a general feeling around the country that it is easy for people to obtain Social Security Disability Benefits. In fact getting disability approval is harder than ever. Undocumented pain, alcoholism and drug use have been disqualified as qualifying disabilities. Mental Retardation and HIV standards are tougher. Diabetes and obesity are no longer distinct disabilities.

Applicants are required to present objective medical evidence of disability. Unless your disability is catastrophic (such as terminal cancer, a heart condition so bad that you are on a heart transplant waiting list, total paralysis of both legs, etc.), there is no easy way for you to tell whether you will be found disabled by Social Security. A review of medical records and consideration of health problems, age, education, and work experience should figure into the decision.  If the individual feels that he or she is disabled and is not going to be able to return to work in the near future, the individual should file for Social Security disability benefits. If denied, the individual should consult with an attorney familiar with Social Security disability to get an opinion as to the chances of success on appeal.

Please contact Attorney Bruce Lipsey for further information – (781) 829-9100 or www.elclaw.com

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Workers Compensation

December 11th, 2012 No comments

The problem with workers not reporting injuries to “preserve” their jobs is becoming more and more of a problem. Employees assume that if they report the injury, they will be fired. The problem is, if the injury worsens, the workers’ compensation insurer will deny the claim for late notice and the employee will be let go anyway if they cannot perform the job. It is imperative that despite the potential bad blood that might arise due to a report of an injury, such a report must be done to preserve the worker’s rights. Please contact Attorney Bruce Lipsey for further information at 781-829-9100 or www.elclaw.com.

SJC Rules General Contractors Can Be Held Liable

June 10th, 2011 No comments

In the case of Wentworth v. C. Becker Custom Building, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a general contractor that pays workers’ compensation benefits to an employee of an uninsured subcontractor is not immune from liability for common-law claims the injured employee may have against the general contractor. Employers are typically exempt from common-law liability under G.L.c. 152, § 23 of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Statute. The general contractor in this case argued that since it was required to cover an injured employee of a subcontractor who failed to maintain workers’ compensation coverage that it should not be exposed to a direct lawsuit by the employee on the employee’s common-law claims (which are typically referred to as third party claims). The SJC concluded that § 23 only applies to employers and employees, and did not apply to a general contractor who may be obligated to provide workers compensation benefits to employees of an uninsured subcontractor pursuant to § 18 of the Statute.

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How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts

September 30th, 2009 No comments

Workers’ compensation is a process requiring patience and organization. It is crucial that a solid foundation of evidence is built so that the insurer must take your claim seriously. It is a game of will and to succeed, you must stay focused, truthful but persistent. Read more…

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