Denied Workers Compensation Claims
The Workers Compensation system was set up to get injured workers the benefits quickly when they need it the most. But when insurance companies are involved, these benefits don’t come as quickly as they’re supposed to. This is especially troublesome when most people in society don’t have a financial cushion to fall back on. Missing a couple paychecks could mean the difference before a decision about whether to pay rent or buy groceries.
Insurance companies know that you’re in a vulnerable position, so they use this leverage, coming up with any excuse they can to deny your claim. If no one saw your injury, they’ll say you’re making it up. If you had an injury, but were able to work through it, they’ll say that any injury making it worse was all a pre-existing condition. In every situation, the insurance company and its attorney are looking for a way to deny your case.What is the Process to File a Claim?
Filing a case at the Department of Industrial Accidents is a multi-step process. Getting a judge to order that the insurance company has to pay you benefits can take time. Having an experienced lawyer can help speed the process along. At the same time, an experienced attorney that can explain in detail why you deserve benefits can convince the insurance company to award benefits voluntarily.
But, if the insurance company still denies the case, filing a claim involves the following steps:
- Gathering Medical Records: Before filing a claim, your lawyer needs your medical records that say that you were hurt at work and cannot work because of the injury. This can take a few weeks.
- Filing the Claim: This is filling out the paperwork and sending the medical records to the DIA. This can happen quickly, taking a your lawyer an hour or two.
- Conciliation: This is where an employee of the DIA meets with the lawyers to make sure the case is ready to go in front of the judge. This meeting will happen a few weeks after filing the claim. It is important that you have a lawyer for this, as this is when settlements most often occur.
- Conference: This is when you go in front of a judge who can order the insurance company to pay benefits. Your lawyer will submit evidence and give a brief overview of your case. This usually occurs 2-3 months after a conciliation.
- Hearing: If you or the insurance company disagrees with the judge’s order, either side can appeal by requesting a hearing. The hearing is a formal process where the attorneys question witnesses under oath. This will happen 4-6 months after the Conference.
As you can see, the timeline is significant.
Please click the links to get more information from other parts of our website.Am I Entitled to Retroactive Benefits?
Since it can often be many months before a judge orders benefits, many ask their attorney whether the judge can order the insurance company to pay you benefits for all the time you were out of work. The answer is yes. These are called retroactive benefits. If you were out of work for 4 months, the judge can order the insurance company to pay you 4 months worth of Workers Compensation benefits. Even if the insurance company’s attorneys appeal, the insurance company will still have to pay you within 2 weeks.Lowell, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Attorneys
The only better than getting the benefits you deserve is not having to wait for those benefits. The Lowell Workers Compensation lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm know how to navigate the system to get your benefits as quickly as possible. Our attorneys know that time is of the essence.
If the insurance company denied your benefits, call the Lowell Workers Compensation lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm for a free consultation.