Managing a Workers Compensation Claim
If you are managing a workers compensation claim, you may need help. It can be a complicated process and getting through this is a hard thing to do. It is very helpful to have an experienced attorney.
Managing a Workers Compensation Claim | Workers’ Comp Nurse Case Manager
The insurance companies like to sometimes assign what they call a “nurse case manager”. It’s generally a nurse who works with or for the insurance company and they oversee the injured worker’s medical treatment. The question usually is, “Do I have to work with this nurse case manager?” The short answer is no, you don’t. Although, in some cases, I like to work with them because they help facilitate getting medical treatment through the workers’ comp insurance company, and that’s sometimes beneficial. The question always is, who are they working for? Are they working in the injured employee’s best interest or are the insurance company’s interest. We keep a close eye on that. Again, you can terminate those services anytime you want.
Managing a Workers Compensation Claim | Workers’ Compensation Hearing
In Massachusetts, the first step is a conciliation, where the attorneys meet; the client doesn’t have to be present for that. If it isn’t resolved at that stage, then it’s moved on to an administrative law judge at a conference, an informal process where the attorneys present their side of the claim; the client has to be there, but doesn’t have to speak.
Once that process is done, a decision is given by the judge. If either side doesn’t like that decision, they’ll appeal to a hearing level. The hearing level is a little more formal; it’s kind of like a trial, where there are witnesses, testimony, and cross-examination. The client has to be there – in fact, probably will have to testify at that hearing – but your attorney will advise you along the way as to what you have to show up for and will prep you for what is going to happen.
Managing a Workers Compensation Claim | Unemployment Benefits
In Massachusetts, if you’re on total disability benefits, you can’t collect unemployment benefits because unemployment, in order to collect it, you need to agree that you can do some kind of work, and you can’t collect total disability workers’ comp if you’re able to do some kind of work. If you are on partial disability benefits in Massachusetts, and you want to collect unemployment, there’s a dollar-for-dollar offset of the workers’ compensation, and so usually it’s a wash and you don’t get any of your partial benefits. You probably don’t want to file for unemployment because where partial benefits are limited in time, you’re just eating up that time while you’re collecting unemployment. It’s best to speak to a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney to figure out what your situation is.
If you need help managing a workers compensation claim, please call our Lowell workers comp lawyer today for a free consultation.