Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer
by Slepkow Law
Work injury claim compensation in Rhode Island
Workers comp lawyers in RI

Losing a source of much-needed income because of a work-related injury can be devastating on a family. The loss of wages can instantly change the family’s lifestyle and place financial pressure on meeting their debt obligations.

Will workers with Coronavirus be eligible for workers compensation

Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer

It was not that many decades ago when families would have starved in an attempt to fend for themselves after losing the income. Today, many laws have been enacted in Rhode Island  to protect an employee injured on the job, including providing workers’ compensation. A Rhode Island Workers Compensation lawyer will help you get the comp you deserve for your work related injury.

RI worker’s comp.

While these laws were enacted as an ideal transition from receiving money by working to getting paid when suffering injuries on the job, the truth is a bit more complex. Even though there are advantages to receiving RI workers’ compensation, there are also significant disadvantages too.

Advantages and Disadvantages 

Workers’ compensation helps the injured employee by providing funding to pay for medical expenses and lost wages during the healing process. In addition, it helps the employer by protecting them against lawsuits. Long-term disability claims are usually settled through a voluntary agreement between the employer’s insurance company and the injured employee.

Without the skills of a reputable attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation benefits, the employee may be relinquishing rights in a proposed settlement agreement. This could limit their ability to file for additional compensation. An injured worker should consider hiring an attorney as quickly as possible under certain conditions, which could include:

• The injury suffered at the workplace were severe and required surgery
• The injuries could be classified as moderate, significant or severe, limiting their ability to return to their previous health condition
• The injured worker lost the capacity to routinely work at any job
• The injured worker cannot physically return to their current job but has the potential of working in some capacity
• The worker had substantial pre-existing disabilities before the work related incident occurred
• Medical benefits were denied
• The injured worker believes he or she is receiving inadequate benefits and wonder if additional benefits are available
• The workers’ compensation process is difficult to comprehend and legal representation would serve in their best interest

Hiring a Comp. Attorney

An injured employee in Rhode island  has the legal right to obtain a RI workers compensation attorney during any part of the process when filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, a providence workers compensation Lawyer may be able to file a third party product liability or negligence cause of action to obtain more compensation through an additional claim or lawsuit. A third party action could be against contractors, vendors or employees of other outside companies that were negligent, reckless or careless in their actions, which led to the injury, accident or incident.

A free consultation

Contacting a reputable Providence workers compensation law firm that specializes in RI  workers compensation claims is usually a step in the right direction. Most East Providence comp attorneys provide a free consultation to review and evaluate the claim.

It is best to seek out legal counsel as quickly as possible to avoid filing any additional claim before the expiration of the state’s statute of limitations. An attorney can help the injured employee seek out the best medical care and obtain adequate recompense for injuries.

Hurt in the workplace

Being hurt in the workplace likely entitles the employee to receive financial compensation for their on-the-job injury. Federal law mandates the rights of all employees ensuring they are provided a safe work environment. RI state laws also make provisions for any work-associated injury. This is important because injured employees often face extensive medical bills and lost wages along with the uncertainty of returning to their job.

Employment related accident in Rhode Island

If you were injured in an employment related accident in Rhode Island, please contact a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer. A RI workers compensation attorney will explain your rights and how to receive top compensation for your Providence workers comp claim in workers compensation Court in Rhode Island. Under Rhode Island law, it is not necessary for an employee to prove that his or her employer was negligent and at fault for the mishap causing person injury to the worker.

In Rhode Island Work-related accidents can appear suddenly, like slipping and falling on a wet floor, or slowly through disease caused by long-term exposure to fumes, chemicals or other dangerous substances. Some work-related incidences occur as a repetitive stress injury like carpal tunnel syndrome from years of typing, or a back injury caused by years of lifting.

Receiving Benefits 

It is essential to seek the best medical treatment the moment the employee knows they have been injured. It is also crucial to notify the employer of the injury as soon as possible and before filing a claim to seek benefits. Typically, the injured employee is offered benefits to pay medical bills along with a portion of their lost earnings.

Liability limitations

Unfortunately, workers compensation systems can be a damaging trade-off for the employee, to the benefit of the employer. Even though the injured worker receives benefits, the system provides protection for the employer to ensure that the employee, under most circumstances, cannot sue them for additional compensation. This liability limitation may prevents the injured worker from seeking compensation for non-tangible damages including pain and suffering,

While the workers compensation system in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is limiting, the benefits provided by this type of insurance is available to nearly every worker regardless of who caused the accident or incident. This avoids a lengthy court battle with an employer to determine liability just to be compensated for being hurt on the job.

Third Party Lawsuits

In some situations, the injured employee can file suit in providence Superior Court against third parties that might also be responsible for their injuries caused by a work-related accident. As an example, if the on-the-job injury occurred on another company’s property, the property owner or occupier might be liable. Additionally, if the injury is the result of a defective product, like faulty machinery, it might be possible to sue the equipment manufacturer for product liability. If you are injured in a car accident while in the scope of your employment, you could sue the negligent tortfeasor who was responsible for the RI car crash in addition to filing a comp claim.

If an RI personal Injury lawyer can determine that a third party is also responsible for the accident, the compensation received by the injured worker is provided over and above benefits paid by the employer. (the workers compensation insurer may have a lien against the liability claim) If the Rhode Island personal injury lawyer working on behalf of the injured worker can determine that the employer acted negligently, intentionally or not, it might be possible for the victim to file suit for additional compensation.

Typical kinds of work-related accidents include:

• Industrial accident involving explosion, fire or chemical burn
• Manufacturing accident involving conveyor belts, heavy equipment and machinery
Construction site accident involving collapsed ceilings and walls or falling from scaffolding
Slip and falls from flooring, ladders and stairways
• Hazard exposure in office buildings, construction projects and industrial sites
• Work-associated vehicle accidents as a fleet driver, courier or commercial driver

Denying the Claim and Rhode Island workers compensation

In some situations, employers or insurance carriers will attempt to minimize the amount of benefits provided the worker injured on the job, or deny the claim outright. As a way to avoid providing compensation, the insurance company might push back claiming the employee’s injuries are far less serious than claimed. Sometimes, employers will indicate the injuries occurred outside the duties of worker’s employment, as a way to minimize the potential of paying higher premiums for workers insurance.

Using a skilled East Providence workers compensation attorney simplifies the compensation process and ensures that the worker can receive adequate benefits for the injuries they have endured. However, because of the state’s liability Statute of Limitations, it is essential that the injured employee hire a workplace accident lawyer immediately.

 Lost wages and the various medical expenses

If you are injured on the job or contract an illness caused by your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Rhode Island (RI) to help you get healthy again and cover the cost of missing time at work. These benefits usually include lost wages and the various medical expenses associated with the injury or illness, including the cost of hospitalization, medical care, physical therapy and prescription drugs. Contact a top ri workers comp attorney

fatal-workers-compensation-accident
Fatal work accident in Rhode Island

Fatality at work

In the event of the death of an employee due to a work-related injury or illness, survivors of the employee, may also make a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits in Rhode Island.  Read about Death benefits in Rhode Island and Providence Plantation workers’ compensation causes of action as a result of a fatal / deadly accident: § 28-33-12  Death benefits payable to dependents.

Employees who are hurt or become sick while on the job

Essentially, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that covers employees who are hurt or become sick while on the job. In most States some form of workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for any business with a certain number of employees. But while most workers’ compensation programs are mandated by State law and fully funded by employers, the specific administrations of the different workers’ compensation programs vary from State to State.

Part time employee coverage

For the most part, both full-time and part-time employees are covered by Rhode Island workers’ compensation programs, although specific coverage also varies by State and by occupation. Generally, when someone is injured at work or becomes ill due to conditions related to the job, they must notify their employer and seek medical help before filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Here is the RI workers COMP statute.

The workers’ compensation court determines if the injury or illness is work-related and pay out the claim accordingly. Workers’ compensation programs are essentially in place to make sure employees who are injured on the job will receive monetary compensation without having to go through the various steps of suing their employers and proving negligence. Worker’s compensation in Rhode Island is a no-fault system in which employees are not required to prove their employers were negligent and at fault for the work related mishap.

In lieu of negligence claim?

In fact, workers’ compensation claims are made in lieu of a traditional negligence lawsuit against an employer with the employee trading off their right to sue their employer in order to receive the no fault workers’ compensation benefits.However, employees can still file a negligence lawsuit  for other damages against a third party who may be responsible for the injury or the manufacturers of any faulty products or equipment that may have caused the injury.

Workers comp. laws limit compensation

Most workers’ compensation programs also limit the amount employees can claim and  and some states prevent injured employees from suing co-workers who may have been involved in the specific incident that lead to the injury. Workers’ compensation benefits will often cover lost wages and medical expenses but they will not cover damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages for negligence like a civil suit might.

No fault and workers compensation

In fact, workers’ compensation is considered a no-fault system, where negligence on behalf of the employee or employer is not considered at all and benefits are paid out simply based on whether or not the injury or illness occurred at the workplace or as a result of being on the job.

Preexisting conditions who aggravate an injury

Employees who are injured at the workplace may  be able to make a workers’ compensation claim even if their injury occurred during a scheduled break time or lunch hour. In many States claims can also be made by employees injured during work-related social activities, or those suffering from some form of work-related stress. Even employees with preexisting conditions who aggravate an injury while on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Employee who is injured travelling to and from work

However, most States will not pay claims to an employee who deliberately injures themselves, an employee who is injured while intoxicated, an employee who is injured travelling to and from work, or an employee who is injured fooling around on the job. If you are injured or become ill while on the job, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. Then you’ll need to report it directly to your employer. Next, you’ll want to make sure to get the injury reported in writing and always keep a copy of that documentation for yourself. You will need to immediately consult with a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer or a Providence workers comp attorney. Your employer will then be responsible for passing on the claim to its workers’ compensation insurance company or State-run program administrators. Most employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance of some form.

Contacting the best workers compensation lawyers in Rhode Island

Contacting a ri workers comp lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation, personal injury or employment law may be a necessary next step. An employment or workers’ compensation lawyer can be your best resource for information about workers’ compensation coverage where you work and help you determine your own entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. If you were injured in the scope of your employment, please contact a Rhode Island worker’s compensation lawyer. A RI workers compensation attorney will help you on the path to getting compensated for your injuries.

Required by RI law

While some occupations have a greater risk of work-related injuries than others do, anyone can be injured on their job. Nearly all employers in Rhode Island are required by RI law to provide workers’ compensation insurance to every employee to ensure coverage in the case of a work-related illness or injury. Workers’ compensation helps individuals injured on the job recover lost wages and pay for medical expenses.

Common types of on-the-job injuries

Individuals can be injured in any line of work in Rhode island. However, the most common types of on-the-job injuries happen to a:

• Construction worker
• Healthcare worker including nurses and nurse’s aides
• Manufacturing and industrial employee
• Warehouse and factory worker
• Commercial driver
• Sanitation worker
• Municipal employee including law enforcement and corrections officer, firefighter and road worker
• Airline and airport employee
• State employee
• Service industry employee including cook, waitress, maid, janitor, delivery driver, child care worker and others
• Miner

Common Injuries

Many individuals working in harsh conditions and dangerous environments have an increased potential of suffering severe injuries including:

Traumatic brain injury
• Repetitive motion injury
• Burn
• Amputation
• Spinal cord injury
• Occupational disease
• Lung injury
Fractured bones

Workers compensation accidents in East Providence

Every employer in Rhode Island is duty bound to provide a safe working environment void of any risk of injury. Thankfully, Workers Comp is no fault in Rhode Island. This means that a comp claimant need not prove their employment is at fault for the work related mishap. In addition, the employer is required by law to provide health and safety training to ensure that every employee is using appropriate tools to maximize job safety. Unfortunately, employees are still injured on the job and need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

The most common types of accidents include:

• Repetitive Motion Injury – Many employees can develop a serious repetitive motion injury, especially those straining the same muscles and tendons every day at the job. Typing on a computer five days a week, lifting heavy boxes or standing long hours in one spot can create carpal tunnel syndrome, vision issues, back pain and muscle injuries.

• Machine Entanglement Injury – Factory employees working around heavy machines and equipment need to be especially careful to not become entangled in the machinery. Hair, fingers, shoes and clothing can easily entwine in rotating or moving equipment. It is essential that employees use protective gear to avoid this type of accident.

• Vehicle Accident – An employee driving for the company can be injured in a RI car accident.

• Walking Hazard Injury – Many employees in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations file workers’ compensation claims to receive benefits for accidentally walking into work area hazards including glass windows, cabinets, doors, walls, chairs or tables. The employee can easily injure their head, foot, neck, need or other body part.

Construction accidents in RI: Falling Object Injury – Objects dropping or falling from a high elevation can cause significant injuries to pedestrians. Hardhats are required on many construction job sites to ensure that the employee remains safe from others dropping heavy objects that could cause them injury or death.

• Reaction Injury – Many times, employees are injured on the job in a slip or trip incident, without actually falling down. Serious injuries can result in strained muscles, body trauma, or other significant medical issue. These accidents are usually the result of slippery surfaces in the workplace.

• Overexertion – Anytime an employee pulls, lifts, holds, pushes, carries or throws objects repetitively at work, their bodies can become easily overexerted, which often leads to injury.

• Exposure – Individuals that work around chemicals and toxins can be exposed to a variety of hazardous conditions in the work environment. Often times, these illnesses take months, years or decades to develop, leading to serious, and sometimes fatal, medical conditions.

Every employer has a duty of care to protect each employee from the potential hazards of an accident or exposure that could cause illness or injury arising as a part of their work. An employer must provide every employee protection from harm while in the performance of their job. If you were injured in a construction accident in RI or a work related truck crash then contact a workers compensation lawyer in Rhode Island. A RI workers compensation lawyer or *Providence workers comp attorneys will help you get the compensation that you deserve. *Providence includes surrounding communities of North Providence, Cranston, Warwick,Johnston, Cumberland, lincoln, East Greenwich and Central falls.

Work-related injury

The CDC reports; “Economic losses that result from work-related injury goes far beyond the direct covered medical costs, vocational rehabilitation expenditures, pensions and wage-replacement costs that comprise the direct cost of a workers’ compensation claim. Employers bear a portion of the loss in the form of indirect cost including production interruption, accident investigation, and the recruiting and training of replacement workers. There is also the long-term loss of earnings, which extends beyond the period of workers’ compensation wage benefits, and is related to the worker’s injuryrelated loss of function or skills. Several studies have used data on earnings from state employment security departments for injured workers and compared them to matched control groups ”  Use of Workers’ Compensation Data for Occupational Injury & Illness Prevention, Proceedings from September 2009 Workshop,  David F. Utterback and Teresa M. Schnorr, Editors DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2010 Revised August 2010 CDC 

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any Rhode Island injury lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

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