Workers' Compensation Attorney in Providence
Morgan & Morgan Boston, LLC10 Dorrance St, Suite 700
Providence, RI 02903
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Providence Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Workers' compensation insurance is designed to help you receive compensation quickly when you get injured in the workplace. But, sometimes, insurance companies or even your employer can complicate things by delaying or denying your much-deserved compensation. If that's what you are dealing with, our workers' compensation lawyer in Providence might be able to help.
To better understand the specifics of your case and whether you are entitled to compensation, we advise you to fill out our free case evaluation form as soon as possible, given that workers' compensation cases are time-sensitive.
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When to File a Workers' Compensation Claim in Providence, Rhode Island
You can file a workers' compensation claim just as long as you've been injured in the workplace or contracted an illness or infection caused by the nature of your job. To further understand your eligibility for this type of compensation, let's take a quick look at how the state's workers' compensation system works.
How the Worker's Compensation System Works In Rhode Island
When you get injured in the workplace in Providence or elsewhere in Rhode Island, and you need medical care, the state's employment laws require your employer to report the injury to their insurance company.
Once they notify the insurance company, the insurer will assign a claims adjuster to your case. The main goal of the adjuster is to investigate the claim and determine whether it should be accepted or denied.
After reviewing the facts of the case, there can only be three outcomes.
The insurance company may accept liability, approve the claim, and pay the workers' compensation benefits you're entitled to. This mostly happens in situations where it is quite obvious that the insurance company is responsible for compensating you.
In fact, if they accept liability, they remain responsible for your injury even if you return to work. Legally, they cannot discontinue your benefits without your consent or a court order.
The second scenario that could unfold is that the insurance company may accept to pay the workers' comp benefits without accepting the claim. In that case, they will file a Non-Prejudicial Agreement with the Rhode Island Department of Labor.
Per the state's employment laws, they'll be required to provide benefits for up to 13 weeks while continuing to investigate the claim. This agreement gives the insurance company the right to deny the claim and stop payments within those 13 weeks.
They will not need our consent or a court order to do so.
Lastly, the insurance company can deny the claim without providing any benefits. When that happens, a workers' compensation attorney can review the claim to determine whether the insurance company broke the law by denying you benefits. If they did break the law, your attorney may be able to help you recover the benefits you were entitled to.
Common Injuries Covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance
This type of insurance covers a wide range of work-related injuries and illnesses. Here are some examples of scenarios that could warrant a workers' comp claim.
Let's say you slip or trip and fall at your workplace and suffer serious injuries such as fractures, sprains, or head trauma. That would be a good reason to apply for workers' compensation benefits.
Your workers' comp insurance may also cover conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, or bursitis. These health conditions often develop due to repetitive motions in the workplace, yet another reason to file a claim.
The same applies if you suffer diseases caused by workplace conditions. Here, we're talking about respiratory disorders, skin conditions, or hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.
Finally, injuries resulting from machinery malfunctions, such as amputations, crush injuries, or lacerations, are usually covered by the employer's workers comp insurance.
Workers' Compensation Benefits You May Be Entitled To
By now, you already know that if you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to several benefits through workers' compensation. So, what do these benefits include?
Typically, workers' compensation benefits cover reasonable medical expenses related to your injury. Similarly, if your injury prevents you from working for a certain period, you may be eligible for wage replacement benefits to compensate for the income you stand to lose during your recovery.
You may also be eligible for temporary disability benefits if you are temporarily unable to work due to your injury. This compensation is designed to help cover your lost wages.
In cases where your injury results in a permanent disability, such as a spinal cord or brain injury, your workers' compensation insurance may provide benefits to compensate for the long-term impact on your ability to work and earn a living.
Reasons To Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer
For starters, it is important to note that not every workers' compensation claim requires legal representation. With that out of the way, there are situations where hiring a workers' compensation lawyer can be particularly beneficial.
Let's take a quick look at a few reasons you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you in your workers' compensation case.
Cases involving complex legal issues, such as disputes regarding the extent of injury, may warrant an attorney. The same applies if your claim has been denied; an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help protect your right to obtain compensation for your injuries.
A skilled attorney can help ensure you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to. This includes but is not limited to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and potential disability benefits.
If your claim is denied or disputed, a workers' compensation lawyer can represent you in appeals and hearings. They will present a strong case on your behalf to highlight the injuries you sustained in the workplace and their impact on your life.
Can You File a Lawsuit if You Got Injured in the Workplace?
In most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for a work-related injury. That's because workers' compensation is designed to provide a no-fault system, meaning employees injured in the workplace can receive benefits regardless of who caused the injury.
That said, there are exceptions to this rule.
For instance, say your employer intentionally caused your injury or a third party unrelated to your employer was responsible for the accident. In that case, employment laws in Rhode Island permit you to seek compensation out of the workers' compensation system by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
I Was at Fault for the Accident. Can I Still File a Workers' Compensation Claim?
Since workers' compensation is a no-fault system, it doesn't matter who was at fault for the accident. As long as your injury occurred in the course of your employment, you should be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
However, this rule does not apply in situations where you suffered self-inflicted injuries or injuries resulting from a certain degree of negligence on your part, such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work.
If so, you may not be eligible for benefits.
Is Workers' Compensation Same As Unemployment Insurance?
Workers' compensation and unemployment insurance may sound like the same thing, but they are not.
On one hand, workers' compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This type of insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs when you get injured in the workplace, even if you are at fault for the injury.
On the other hand, unemployment insurance is a program that provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who become unemployed and meet certain eligibility requirements. It provides income support as individuals actively search for new employment. Unemployment insurance benefits are typically funded through payroll taxes paid by employers.
In summary, the key difference between these two is that workers' compensation specifically deals with work-related injuries or illnesses, while unemployment insurance focuses on providing temporary income support to individuals who are unemployed.
Need a Competent Lawyer? Contact Morgan and Morgan
Although the workers' compensation system is designed to compensate injured workers and avoid lengthy court battles that come in the form of a lawsuit, this process comes with its own fair share of challenges. Sometimes, hiring a competent workers' compensation lawyer in Providence is the best way to fight for your right to compensation. And there's no better way of getting top-notch legal representation than contacting Morgan and Morgan, America's largest injury firm.
In fact, did you know that Morgan and Morgan files the most employment cases in the United States? That explains why we have so far recovered more than $15 billion for the injured across the country, including hard-working employees who've suffered serious injuries in the workplace. So if you or a loved one needs a competent lawyer to help navigate the complexities of workers' compensation insurance in Providence or elsewhere in the state of Rhode Island, help is a free case evaluation away.
Contact us today to learn more about how we might be able to help protect your rights as an employee injured in the course of your employment.