During the rise of industry in the U.S., it became evident that there was a need for workers to be protected and regulations to be enforced so as to ensure workers would be provided for if they suffered an injury at work. Before such laws were mandated by the government, an injured worker would need to sue the company he or she worked for. An imbalance developed—with injured workers on one end, and no means for them to obtain legal representation, and their employers on the other—who could afford all the representation they needed. In the rare instances where employees won, they could bring their employers to financial ruin. In response, industry and labor reached a compromise, now referred to as workers’ compensation. Under the new laws, an injured worker was guaranteed medical and wage benefits after an injury, but forfeited their right to sue employers for such things as pain and suffering.
All U.S. states have a series of workers’ compensation laws designed to provide benefits to injured workers who suffer injuries at work. It is a form of no-fault insurance that all employers must have to protect themselves and their employees should a workplace accident happen. No-fault means that it does not matter whether the employer or the employees themselves are at fault for their injury.
Just as an employee has a right to workers’ compensation benefits, employers (and their insurance carrier) also have the right to defend themselves against claims by an employee. Most common is the defense that the injury suffered by the employee did not arise out of or in the course of their employment. When there is a dispute over whether an employee should receive benefits or how much they should be rewarded, a resolution can be reached through negotiation or an order by a judge before their state’s workers’ compensation board. Remember that damages for pain and suffering are not included under workers’ compensation plans.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYERS ARE SPECIALIZED IN THIER FIELD
Attorneys may work on either side of a disputed claim. There are strict guidelines that both sides follow in WC law, which also dictate how attorneys are paid. The injured worker is not responsible for paying out-of-pocket for legal assistance. Attorneys are only paid if they win a case in court and, even then, all fees are assessed against the insurance company. If they resolve a case by way of a settlement, the attorney will be paid on a contingent fee basis.
If you are encountering an employer or insurance company who is not willing to help you with your claim or has denied your benefits, by law, you have the right to pursue a claim before the Department of Industrial Accidents (in MA) or the Department of Labor (in NH). An attorney will help guide you through this process.
Workers’ Compensation is a complex system that can be daunting for those unfamiliar with it. It is entirely to your advantage to ask for assistance from an attorney.
There are no fees charged to you for contacting an attorney for answers to your questions regarding your claim and how it is being handled.
Please call to schedule a free consultation. Whether you are looking to hire an attorney or simply have questions, Attorney Levin can assess your situation right over the phone.
email: michael@MichaelLevinEsq.com | tel: (508) 347-1048 | fax: (774) 243-2684