Understanding Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers’ compensation laws are in place to help provide benefits and monetary support to workers who are injured on the job and families of workers who lose their lives on the job. These laws have expanded over the years to not only cover workplace injuries, but also illnesses that occur due to toxic exposure or other work site conditions. Workers’ compensation, administered through the employer, provides benefits to injured workers such as cost of medical treatment, a portion of lost wages and compensation for permanent disability. Dependents of workers who are killed on the job or die due to an occupational illness typically receive monetary benefits.
What to Do if You are Injured
There are several steps you can take to protect your rights and best interests if you have been injured on the job:
- Get first aid or other necessary medical treatment and care as soon as possible. If you need diagnostic tests or prescription medicine, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier may require that you get your tests or medicine from a network with which they are connected. Your employer may also require that you go to the doctor who is within the insurance company’s network.
- Notify your supervisor about the injury and how it occurred as soon as possible. If you don’t report your injury promptly, you may lose the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Be sure you get a copy of your report for your own records as well.
- Complete a claim for workers’ compensation. If the claim is not filed within the required time, you may lose your right to benefits.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions to facilitate a full recovery.
- Keep track of all your medical expenses and anything you may pay out of pocket such as cost of physical therapy or rehabilitative services. Be sure to document the wages you have lost or days you were unable to work due to your injuries.
- Return to work as soon as you are able.
- Contact an experienced Rhode Island workers’ compensation lawyer who can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Getting Your Benefits
In Rhode Island, injured workers are entitled to weekly compensation for lost wages, payment of all medical expenses, payment for permanent injuries such as scarring and loss of use of a body part. Workers may also be entitled to receive support to pursue vocational rehabilitation, which may include job placement assistance, education and training. In addition to workers’ compensation, you may also be able to file what is known as a “third-party claim” against a party other than your employer, whose negligence may have caused or contributed to your injuries. Examples of third parties include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners and manufacturers of defective products, to mention a few.
If you have been injured on the job in Rhode Island, you may be entitled to seek and obtain benefits for medical bills, lost wages and potentially a lump sum settlement. d’Oliveira & Associates is working with experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Rhode Island. The insurance company pays all legal fees if you win your case. Call us toll-free at 1–800–992–6878 for a free and comprehensive consultation.
Visit our website for more information on Workers’ Compensation. You can find this original article here on our Personal Injury Blog.