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Workers’ Compensation Lawyer | Tewksbury, Massachusetts

As a Tewksbury workers’ compensation attorney, I’ve seen firsthand the confusion and challenges that injured workers face. My practice, the Law Office of Jeffrey A. Young, guides individuals through the complexities of the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. I offer a blend of legal acumen and compassionate advocacy, tailored to the unique needs of each client in Tewksbury and beyond.

If you or a loved one was injured at work, I invite you to call my office to schedule a free consultation. As an experienced Tewksbury workers’ compensation attorney, I can discuss the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and tenaciously advocate for the full and fair workers’ compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.

My Approach to Workers’ Compensation in Tewksbury

In my over three decades of practice, I have learned that each workers’ compensation case in Tewksbury presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. My approach is personalized, focusing on the well-being of my clients above all else. I’m not just here to provide legal representation; I’m here to offer support and guidance through every step of your claim.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Experienced Tewksbury Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

At the Law Office of Jeffrey A Young, I represent injured workers on a contingency fee basis. This approach means that my compensation is directly linked to the successful acquisition of benefits for my clients. Essentially, I don’t receive a fee unless I am able to obtain benefits for you. In many cases,  most of my fees and associated costs are typically covered by the insurer.

Another scenario in which I receive payment is through a lump sum settlement of your case. In such cases, my fee is determined by the state and ranges between 15% and 20% of the settlement amount, which is dependent on whether the settlement is categorized as unaccepted or accepted.

What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available For Work Injuries in Massachusetts?

In the event of a valid work-related injury, an employee may qualify for several types of benefits designed to address medical expenses and compensate for the loss of earnings, including:

  • Medical Coverage. Insurers are responsible for covering the costs of reasonable and necessary medical care related to the injury sustained at work. Payment rates for these services are predetermined by state regulations. While these rates may be considered low, leading to some healthcare providers declining them, insurers often engage in negotiations to agree on a rate acceptable to the medical provider. Despite these negotiations, the law does not compel insurers to exceed state-set payment rates.

Medical procedures and examinations require approval from a Utilization Review provider to ensure they are suitable for the injury according to state guidelines. Should there be an initial denial of treatment, an expedited appeal process is available, necessitating review by a medical professional in the same field as the initial request. In cases where treatment is denied again, the option to file a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) exists, where a judge will determine the insurer’s obligation to cover the treatment costs.

  • Temporary Total Incapacity. Workers unable to engage in any gainful employment for more than five consecutive days due to an injury qualify for this benefit, receiving 60% of their Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The AWW calculation is based on gross earnings in the 52 weeks preceding the injury. For employment less than a full year or instances of minimal earnings, the calculation adjusts accordingly. These benefits, regulated by state-determined minimum and maximum rates, are available for up to 156 weeks.
  • Temporary Partial Incapacity. This benefit is for employees who can work but at a reduced capacity, paying 60% of the difference between the pre-injury AWW and the post-injury earnings. With specific minimum and maximum limitations, this benefit extends up to 260 weeks.
  • Permanent and Total Incapacity. Employees who sustain injuries preventing any future employment, with conditions deemed permanent or indefinitely long-term, are eligible for these benefits. Recipients receive two-thirds of their AWW, with potential adjustments for cost of living based on Social Security benefits implications. These benefits may be payable for the injured workers life.
  • Concurrent Employment Benefits. For individuals working multiple jobs at the time of injury, benefits calculations consider combined wages from all employment, provided all positions are covered under Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This ensures fair compensation reflecting the total earnings impacted by the injury.
  • Mileage Reimbursement. Travel expenses for medical appointments, including mileage, parking, and public transport costs, are reimbursable by the insurer at state-defined rates.
  • Death and Funeral Benefits. Dependents of workers who die from work-related injuries or illnesses are entitled to death benefits, including funeral and burial expense compensation.

Understanding and choosing the right workers’ compensation benefits requires careful consideration of all relevant factors and potential outcomes. With my experience in work injury law, I am equipped to guide you and your family to secure the maximum entitled benefits, simplifying this intricate process.

My Services at The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Young

I provide a comprehensive range of services to address every facet of workers’ compensation claims:

  • Personalized Consultations. Every case begins with a thorough discussion to understand your situation and explore your legal avenues.
  • Claim Filing and Management. I take on the burden of your claim, ensuring it’s filed correctly and managed efficiently, keeping you informed every step of the way.
  • Legal Representation. From Conciliations to Conferences, to Hearings and appeals, I stand by your side, ready to challenge denials and fight for your rights.
  • Settlement Negotiations. I work tirelessly to negotiate settlements that truly reflect the value of your claim, considering both your immediate needs and future wellbeing.
  • Ongoing Support and Advice. Beyond just securing your benefits, I’m here to offer ongoing support, helping you manage the impacts of your work-related injury.

The Critical Nature of Timely Legal Action

The importance of acting quickly in workers’ compensation claims cannot be overstated. Massachusetts law sets strict deadlines for reporting injuries and filing claims. By engaging with me early, you ensure your claim is filed accurately and promptly, avoiding delays or denials.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured At Work in Tewksbury?

After sustaining an injury at your workplace in Tewksbury, it’s crucial to follow specific steps to ensure your health is prioritized and your rights under workers’ compensation laws are protected:

  • Inform Your Employer Promptly. It’s imperative to report the incident to your supervisor or employer immediately, no matter how minor the injury might seem initially. Quick reporting is essential as even seemingly minor injuries can worsen over time, and the timeliness of your report can significantly impact the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim.
  • Seek Immediate Medical Care. Your health and recovery should be your foremost concern. Initially, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance provider may try to send you to a healthcare provider of their choice for your first visit. However, you have the liberty to choose your healthcare provider. Make sure the medical professional you select is informed that the treatment should be billed through workers’ compensation insurance, and it’s crucial that they provide detailed documentation of how you were injured at work, your condition, treatment, and any changes in your health status.

Understanding the Reporting Process For Workers’ Compensation Claims in Massachusetts.

  • An injury must lead to a disability that lasts for either five full or partial calendar days to necessitate reporting to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). These days do not need to be in a continuous sequence.
  • Once informed of an injury that will incapacitate a worker for five days (full or partial), employers have five business days (excluding Sundays and legal holidays) to report this incident to their insurance carrier and the DIA. This is facilitated through the submission of Form 101 – Employer’s First Report of Injury/Fatality, which is required to be filed electronically, as the DIA no longer accepts paper submissions.
  • In situations where the disability from the injury does not exceed five days, the case is considered a “medical only” claim, which involves a different reporting and compensation process.

Why Are Workers’ Compensation Clams Commonly Denied?

Workers’ compensation claims can be denied for several reasons, reflecting the complexities of both the incidents leading to the claims and the legal requirements governing the workers’ compensation system. Understanding why claims are commonly denied can help employees and their advocates navigate these challenges more effectively. Here are some of the primary reasons for claim denials:

  • Lack of Timely Reporting. One of the most frequent reasons for denial is failing to report the injury to the employer within the required timeframe. Each state has specific deadlines for when an injury must be reported, and missing these deadlines may lead to the claim being initially denied by the insurer.
  • Discrepancies in the Injury Report. Inconsistencies between the employee’s account of the incident, medical records, and the employer’s report can lead to doubts about the legitimacy of the claim, resulting in denial. It’s crucial that all descriptions of the incident and injuries are accurate across all reports and documentation.
  • Injury Not Deemed Work-Related. For a workers’ compensation claim to be successful, the injury or illness must be directly related to the employee’s job duties or workplace conditions. Claims can be denied if there is evidence suggesting the injury occurred outside of work or is unrelated to job activities.
  • Insufficient Medical Documentation. Adequate medical evidence is essential to support a workers’ compensation claim. Claims may be denied if there is a lack of medical documentation proving the injury’s severity or its connection to the workplace.
  • Failure to Seek Medical Treatment. If an injured worker does not seek prompt medical treatment, insurers may question the seriousness of the injury, leading to claim denial. Immediate medical attention not only supports an individual’s recovery but also provides a medical record that is critical for the claim.
  • Employment Status Issues. Workers’ compensation coverage varies depending on employment status. Independent contractors, for example, are typically not covered under traditional workers’ compensation policies, and misunderstandings or misclassifications of employment status can lead to denied claims. But just because an employer labels someone an “independent contractor” and not an employee, it does not mean they are not an employee and entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Pre-existing Conditions. Insurers often scrutinize claims involving pre-existing conditions. If an insurer determines that the injury was primarily due to a condition that existed before the workplace incident, the claim may be denied. There is a special standard used to determine whether a work injury that combines with a pre-existing non-work-related injury or disease to cause disability, is compensable.
  • Intoxication or Drug Use. If drug or alcohol testing after an injury indicates that the worker was under the influence at the time of the accident, the claim is likely to be denied based on the premise that substance use was a contributing factor to the incident.
  • Missed Deadlines for Claim Filing. Beyond reporting the injury to the employer, there are also strict deadlines for filing the actual claim with the workers’ compensation board or insurance carrier. Missing these deadlines can result in a denial.

Understanding these common reasons for claim denials can help workers take proactive steps to strengthen their claims, such as reporting injuries promptly, ensuring consistency in documentation, and seeking immediate and appropriate medical care. In many cases, consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide invaluable guidance through the claim process and help avoid pitfalls that lead to denials.

Facing Challenges Together – Schedule A Free Consultation With Experienced Tewksbury Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Jeff Young.

The path to securing workers’ compensation benefits can be marked by disputes and hurdles. Whether it’s questions over the severity of your injury, disagreements about medical treatment, or readiness to return to work, I’m here to face these challenges head-on, advocating tirelessly for your rights.

If you or a loved one suffered a work-related injury in Tewksbury, you don’t have to navigate the workers’ compensation system alone. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation. Let’s discuss how I can help you secure your benefits and support your path to recovery and financial stability.

Don’t Wait. Insurers only have 14 days to pay or deny your claim. Learn how to improve your chances of having your claim approved.