A work injury or illness can leave a person with mounting medical debt and an inability to pay those bills. This burden is compounded when a worker is unable to perform at his or her previous earning capacity or is simply unable to work at all. Boston workers’ compensation lawyer Michael O. Smith can help you if you were injured at work. Mr. Smith has more than 15 years of experience advocating for the injured and disabled. He has guided numerous clients through the complex workers’ compensation claims process. He has advocated for their right to benefits when their claims have been denied. Mr. Smith can provide you with the guidance you need to recover for your medical expenses and claim other benefits. Contact our office today to discuss your case.Workplace Injuries in Massachusetts
Injuries at work are a daily occurrence. According to data from the Massachusetts Occupational Injuries and Illness Report, approximately 70,500 individuals suffered non-fatal injuries and illnesses at work in 2011. These injuries included sprains, lacerations, fractures, and brain contusions. The most common areas for work-related injuries were the back and extremities.
Many injured workers often face an uphill battle when they seek coverage for their medical expenses. An insurer may try to deny a worker’s claim for coverage for certain medical care. They may disagree with the type of medical treatment a worker needs to recover for their injuries, contest the degree of an injury, or argue that the injury is due to a preexisting condition and not work-related. In such cases, an ill or injured worker may need to fight for his or her benefits at a hearing before the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.Medical Expenses Under the Workers’ Compensation System
If you suffer an injury at work and require medical attention, you are entitled to medical benefits for your injury. Through a claim for workers’ compensation, you can potentially receive medical benefits for as long as your injury or illness lasts. This includes coverage for reasonable and adequate medical care for your injury or illness. Coverage for medical expenses can include:
- Doctor and hospital visits
- Medical testing
- Prescription medications
- Reimbursement for travel to and from doctor and hospital appointments
What you consider reasonable and adequate, however, may differ from what your employer and insurer consider reasonable and adequate for your injury. It is important to notify your employer as soon as the work-related injury occurs and to seek medical attention promptly. Your employer or the insurer has the right to designate a healthcare provider for your initial doctor or hospital consultation, but you may choose your own provider after the initial treatment. An insurer also has the right to periodically send you to its own doctor to evaluate your injuries. It is important that you go to any required medical examinations to avoid any delays in your receipt of benefits.What if a Third-Party is Partially Responsible?
If a third party, such as a property owner, co-worker, or other entity caused your injury or is partially responsible for it, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to hold them liable for your injuries. A workers’ compensation claim and personal injury suit may overlap. This can impact any potential settlement in either case. It is important to speak with an attorney that is well-versed in both areas of the law to ensure your rights are protected and that the appropriate parties are held accountable.Representing Injured Workers in the Boston Area
Boston workers’ compensation attorney Michael O. Smith represents workers who are seeking workers’ compensation coverage for their work-related injury or illness. Over the course of his 15 years of practice, Mr. Smith has helped injured clients claim coverage for medical expenses and other benefits for their work-related injuries. If your claim has been denied, Mr. Smith can provide you with the advocacy you need to fight the insurers and seek the medical care and coverage you deserve. We serve clients from our offices in Boston. Call us today at 617-263-0060 or fill out our form online to arrange an initial consultation at no cost.