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How does conciliation work in workers’ compensation disputes?

| Jan 15, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Sustaining injuries while on the job is a painful experience. Yet, you may find that filing a workers’ compensation claim is almost as torturous. Your employer’s insurance company may be difficult to work with, and they may dispute your claim’s value – or reject it outright. Even if you feel like reaching an agreement on it is an uphill battle, you may be able to do so in conciliation.

Understanding how conciliation works

In Massachusetts, conciliation is the first step in the resolution process after appealing a denied or undervalued workers’ compensation claim. It can be also used to resolve issues related to modified or stopped workers’ compensation benefits. Conciliation does not happen in the courtroom. Rather, it is an informal meeting.

During conciliation, you will work to reach an agreement about the value of your workers’ compensation claim with the attorney representing your employer’s insurance company. A conciliator will help guide your negotiations with them. They will not issue a final agreement, though. If you cannot reach an agreement in conciliation, the conciliator will refer your case to an administrative judge.

To improve the odds of reaching an agreement in conciliation, you will want to seek the help of an attorney. Their understanding of the process may make it easier for you to fight for an appropriate settlement.

Preparing for conciliation

Your ability to negotiate the value of your workers’ compensation claim in conciliation may depend on your preparedness. To strengthen your case, you must provide any medical records pertinent to your claim. These records will give a full picture of your injuries, as well as how you sustained them and the expenses and losses you incurred as a result.

It is possible that your worker’s compensation dispute will resolve at the hands of a judge, no matter your efforts. Yet, you will improve your chances of reaching an agreement in conciliation by making sure you are prepared and enlisting the help of an attorney.

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