How can discovery help my workers’ compensation claim?

If you’ve been injured on the job, then you know the struggle that can accompany one’s recovery. The physical pain can be excruciating, and you might find yourself depressed when you are unable to work. On top of that, you will likely incur medical expenses and suffer from lost wages, which can throw your finances into a tailspin. To avoid this, you may want to consider seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

However, this process can be difficult, especially when you have limited information on which to base your claim. This is why Massachusetts law allows an individual to engage in discovery. Under the law, once you file your workers’ compensation claim, you can file a motion seeking to gain access to certain areas of your employer’s property so that you can take measurements, collect samples, and analyze records.

The same process is available if you want to obtain access to medical and/or employment records. This may help you see the full scope of your injury, as well as your wages prior to the injury. Under these circumstances, though, an opposing party can also seek discovery. This means that if you are receiving medical treatment from a doctor after your injury and you don’t sign a release of such information to the insurance company, then they may seek access to them in order to determine whether your injury still qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits.

Discovery can be extremely helpful when handling a workers’ compensation claim, but there are certain procedural safeguards that must be followed in order to be successful. For example, the item or items to be inspected must be clearly and specifically defined in a discovery request. Failing to do so may result in an objection from the opposing party, thereby barring your access to it. In order to avoid these pitfalls, it might be wise to discuss your case with an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.


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