Norfolk County Workers' Compensation
If you are hurt on the job in Norfolk County, you may be able to recover workers' compensation benefits. You should notify your employer in writing, and your employer must notify its insurer and report the illness or injury to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). All private employers are required to procure workers' compensation insurance for their employees. If this coverage is obtained, your exclusive remedy for an on-the-job injury is a workers' compensation claim. Unfortunately, insurers tend to be more concerned with profits than worker wellbeing, and a legitimate claim may be denied. At Pulgini & Norton, our Norfolk County workers’ compensation lawyers help employees pursue the benefits to which they may be entitled after a job-related illness or injury.Pursuing Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are four steps of the appeals process at the DIA. The process starts with conciliation, which is informal. However, if a conciliator asks you to submit evidence related to your claim, you do need to comply, or you risk having your case dismissed. You can then move to the conference stage, which is also informal. If either you or the insurer disagrees with the administrative judge's decision at this stage, you can appeal to go to a formal hearing stage. The last step within the DIA is to have a Reviewing Board review the hearing judge's determination. You must go through all of these steps to exhaust your administrative remedies.
Only after you exhaust your administrative remedies can you appeal the Board's decision to the appellate court. In general, the Board's affirmation of an administrative judge's hearing decision will not be disturbed unless it finds the decision lacks evidentiary support, or a different conclusion is necessary as a matter of law. If you do not exhaust your administrative remedies, you do not have the right to file a separate civil lawsuit regarding your disputed workers' compensation claim.
What happens if your employer violates the legal requirement of having workers' compensation insurance coverage for its employees? In that case, you may be able to make a claim against the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund (the Fund). This is a special revenue fund in the Massachusetts state treasury. Under Section 65 of the Workers' Compensation Act, the Fund can pay compensation or reimburse parties for claims.
If your injury was on or after December 12, 1985, you can either make a claim against the Fund or file a civil lawsuit against your employer, but if you were injured before that date, you cannot file a claim against the Fund. Your only recourse is to sue your employer or another responsible party in a civil lawsuit. You should be aware that if you sue your employer, you will have to prove fault and establish the elements of a negligence claim.Consult a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Norfolk County
If you are injured or made sick on the job, you may need to bring a workers' compensation claim. Although the process is supposed to be more straightforward than filing a civil lawsuit, this is not always the case. It can be vital to have representation and support from an experienced workplace accident lawyer. Call the Norfolk County workers’ compensation attorneys at Pulgini & Norton at 781-843-2200 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation.