What is a Workers’ Compensation Conference?
Posted: Aug 17, 2016
There are four general steps for a contested workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts. The first is a conciliation – an informal meeting of the parties to discuss the case and see is they can settle.The second step is the workers’ compensation conference. This conference takes place with you, the opposing side, and an Administrative Judge.
What Happens in a Workers’ Compensation Conference?
Like a conciliation, a workers’ compensation conference is largely informal, but that shouldn’t be confused with easy. These conferences allow each side to make a presentation of their case, submit medical reports, wage reports, and other important pieces of evidence. At this conference, it is important to prove the following: 1) That you are disabled; 2) That your injury or illness is/was work related; and 3) Medical bills necessary for treatment. Having an experienced lawyer with you makes this process much easier and your chances of success higher.
The Judge has seven days from the conference to issue a decision about whether or not the insurer must pay your claim or not. However, this decision is often appealed to a formal hearing.
Will I Have a Workers’ Compensation Conference?
It depends. If your workers’ compensation claim is not contested by your employer’s insurance company, then you might not have to go to a conference. If your claim is contested, then the first step is conciliation. An experienced lawyer can help with these negotiations, though it is often the case that contested claims do not settle in conciliation. When that happens, you move forward to the conference.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Workers’ Compensation Conference?
No, but highly recommended. There is no rule that you need a lawyer with you during any part of the worker’s compensation claim process. However, an experienced lawyer can maximize your chances at getting a favorable outcome. Qualified lawyers have been to numerous workers’ compensation conferences and not only understand what to expect, but know how to present your case the right way. They might even know the opposing insurance company lawyers and the judges, facilitating in a smoother process for you.
So, to sum it up, a workers’ compensation conference is the second step in a contested workers’ compensation claim.
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