Hunting and Fishing Accidents
Workers in the hunting and fishing industries face a risk of accidents and illnesses. There are a number of different possible harms that these workers face, including repetitive stress or other physical injuries. One source of illness in this industry is toxic substances. Lead, in particular, is a neurotoxin that poses a threat to hunters, fishermen, and their families. If you suffer a job-related illness or injury from a hunting or fishing accident in Boston or the surrounding cities, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton may be able to advise you on pursuing benefits.Injuries in the Hunting and Fishing Industries
If you work for a Massachusetts employer, you can potentially recover workers' compensation benefits irrespective of fault. Unlike in a personal injury case, your recovery will not be reduced or barred because of your own negligence in causing an accident. You may also recover workers' compensation benefits if chemical exposure to mercury, lead, cadmium, or asbestos caused an illness or physical damage.
If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). In DIA proceedings, you will need to prove your case. The first step is conciliation, which is a meeting in which your lawyer and the lawyers for the insurer can explain the case to a conciliator. The goal is to try to come to an agreement, but no benefits can be awarded or taken away. You will need to have written medical proof that your injury or illness is work-related and that, as a result, you cannot work.
If an agreement is not reached, a judge will review your case in a hearing. Judges can award, change, or stop benefits. In many cases, insurers try to focus on any inconsistencies in a case in order to get the judge to stop or reduce benefits. At the hearing, you will need to provide medical proof that you have a job-related injury or illness, that you have been unable to work, and that you need to have certain medical treatments.
Either party can appeal the judge's decision, in which case the next step will be a hearing. There, you may testify and provide further proof. Before the hearing, you will need to see an impartial physician. The impartial physician's report is the only medical evidence presented, unless the judge finds it insufficient, in which case he or she may ask for more evidence to be submitted.
The Massachusetts Reviewing Board, part of the DIA, hears appeals from the hearing decision. This step is based on judges on a panel reviewing the judge's decision in order to correct any errors of law by the judge at earlier stages.
In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a lump sum settlement with an insurer. There is no way to guarantee how an administrative law judge will rule, and both the insurer and the employee may be able to agree they would rather settle the case with a one-time payment. Not all lump sum settlements are good. It must be in your best interests, and it must take into account the duration of any injury or illness.Seek Legal Representation in Boston after a Workplace Accident
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident in the Boston area, an attorney may be able to help you seek workers' compensation benefits. At Pulgini & Norton, we can represent people in Brookline, Lowell, Medford, and other Massachusetts cities. Call us at 781-843-2200 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation.