As Massachusetts and Rhode Island personal injury attorney who does a fair amount of workers compensation law work, I receive a lot of questions from people who want to know what to do when they are hurt at work.
Its understandable, workers compensation laws are complex and you need a competent personal injury attorney skilled in these laws to help you sort it all out.
If you are hurt on the job, typically workers compensation laws will come into play. Worker’s compensation laws are designed to protect people who are injured on the job. At the same time, these laws also protect employers from liability for work-related injuries.
Finally, worker’s compensation laws can also function to provide benefits to beneficiaries of those killed in work-related incidents.
Since worker’s compensation laws are so complex and protect so many parties, wondering how to specifically apply the law when you
sustain an injury as an employee in the workplace is a common issue.
If you are unable to work or your life is altered due to a harmful incident on the job, you need to know how to utilize workers compensation laws. Monetary rewards and monthly salary compensation could become vital if you become disabled while on the job.
My aim here is to help you learn enough to gain a basic understanding of how to legally proceed after such an accident occurs and what you can do about it by answering some of the top questions we get at The Law Offices of Kevin P. Landry, P.C.
Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer Workers Compensation Top Questions
1. “How do workers compensation laws work?”
Workers’ Compensation laws vary from state to state. In general, workers compensation laws are in place to make sure that workers are protected by insurance if they are injured on the job or contract a work-related illness.
Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to all their employees. This insurance pays for any reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the injury or illness and also pays partial compensation for lost wages. The compensation you may receive varies from state to state, but it generally is in the range of two-thirds of gross wages.
However, the injury must have occurred while the employee was on the job or the illness must be due to employment.
2. “What primary action should I take after sustaining an injury on the job? Should I seek documentation from a medical professional?”
No doubt, documentation is key. You should immediately report the injury to your employer to document the injury type and the fact that it occurred on the job. Also you should seek immediate medical treatment for the same reasons: to document the injury and prove the fact that it occurred on the job.
3. “How should I communicate with my employer while I look to recover damages from the injury?”
Your communication to your employer should be limited to reporting the accident and the injury. Further communications should be forwarded to the workers compensation insurance company directly, preferably through your personal injury attorney.
4. “Do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle my worker’s compensation case?”
It is always preferable to hire an attorney. The workers compensation laws for different states can be complicated. It is not in the business interest for the insurance carriers to continue to pay employee benefits. Attorney fees are generally paid by the insurance carrier per court order or a contingent fee for a lump sum settlement. No retainer is required and clients do not pay attorneys fees out-of-pocket.
5. “How long do worker’s compensation cases usually take to settle?”
The length of time for settlement will vary depending on the type of personal injury, the recuperation period, as well as the relative positions of the insurance carrier and the worker’s attorney.