Under the Workers Compensation statute, there are various ways to reach agreements regarding your injury or payment of benefits, whether you seek payment of weekly benefits or medical treatment. Under G.L. c. 152, Section 19, the parties to a workers compensation claim are permitted to construct an agreement, without forfeiting rights or defenses to the claim, on a non-prejudicial basis. This type of agreement is frequently used in cases where the claimed injury is questioned, or where the type of injury is one which often leads to protracted litigation. By example, a 35 year old male who has a pre-existing heart condition suffers an MI at work. Because of his pre-existing, non work related medical condition, and his young age, the insurers defense is likely to result in a denial of benefits. However, by this example, should this employee be capable of returning to work within a relatively short period of time, it may be best for all parties involved to avoid litigation and enter into an agreement to make payment of the employee’s lost wages. Section 19 would permit the parties to draft this agreement and make the employee whole without prolonged litigation and uncertain results.
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