You have two claims. One is the work comp and one is the personal injury. Some attys are good at doing both and some tend to work more in just one of the two areas.
The workers comp ins carrier gets to ride your coattails in going after the dog owner but it if you were here you wouldn't need their permission to pursue the negligent third party. You would need their permission or agreement to settle the case though because you have to take their interest into account before settling.
Talk to your atty about getting a demand letter out to the dog owner and see if the atty thinks this is a good time to do that. Best of luck.
You do not have to get permission from the insurance company to persue the dog bite claim. Once you do settle the dog bite case, that will effect what the workers' comp. Insurer has to pay. Discuss your concerns with your attorney.
Probably time to go have a very detailed sit down discussion with your attorney. Your case is likely near the statute (I am unaware of the statute of limitations in MA.) . S/he should sit down with you and explain where the case is in terms of what progress has been made and what is left to do. Most attorneys also send this type of update letter to clients. Ask for one. It is ok to stop giving him so much space. You need to know what is going on!
You don't need the permission from the dept. you mentioned. Perhaps you misunderstood your attorney? Be sure to ask about this in your sit down with him.
Why has the comp carrier not paid everything already? Maybe there is a backlog in your area, but your bills should be timely paid by comp-make sure none are getting sent to collections which will damage your credit.
If this is a third party claim (you have a work comp claim and a claim against dog owner and apartment complex it looks like) there will be liens that need to be paid out of any settlement amount. Make sure you know now what your liens are and ask your attorney if he will work to negotiate those down. Most attorneys do.
Schedule a meeting with your attorney this week.
Best of luck to you!
The information provided was in answer to a general question and cannot be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the information provided establish an attorney client relationship. Seek out an attorney with whom you can fully explain your unique situation and enter into an attorney client relationship with that attorney.
You will eventually need to get the approval of the Department of Industrial Accidents for any settlement you have with the third-party concerning your injuries from the dog bite but you do not need its permission to pursue such a claim.