Understanding Workers Comp in Rutland, VT
All Vermont employers are required by law to have workers compensation insurance in the event that one of their employees is injured on the job. For Vermont workers who have sustained a workplace injury, it is crucial that they understand workers compensation laws. Knowing how compensation claims work, what evidence you need under workers compensation laws, and why you might want to hire a Rutland workers compensation lawyer will help ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to if you sustain a workplace injury in Rutland.
Explaining Workers Comp
Workers compensation refers to an employer’s insurance that covers the cost of injuries if an employee is injured on the job. Compensable injuries can be instantaneous or occur over time. In either case, you must let your employer know within six months of your becoming aware that you may have a workplace injury or illness. Your employer is then required to file your claim within 72 hours of learning about it.
The Role of the Insurance Adjuster
The claim then goes to the employer’s workers compensation insurance where an adjuster must decide whether to approve or deny the claim; they have 21 days to do so. The adjuster will obtain your medical records and may try to interview you. If your claim is approved, the adjuster will review the medical evidence to determine if you are entitled to wage replacement, referred to as temporary total disability." (Click here for the Vermont Department of Labor webpage further describing the claims process.)
What to Expect From Your Claim
The benefits associated with your claim generally entail payment for any medical care associated with the injury, temporary replacement of lost income, payment for permanent injuries, and compensation to families who lost a loved one on the job. Workers compensation laws do not cover pain and suffering, however. Your eligibility for benefits should begin immediately after the claim is filed and will continue for the duration of the injury, even if the injury is permanent.
Why Hire a Rutland-Based Workers Comp Lawyer?
There are several reasons why hiring a workers compensation attorney is a good idea. Though every Vermont workers compensation claim is different, consider some of the following situations why hiring an attorney is in your best interest:
Your employer’s insurance denies your claim.
The burden of proof to establish the injury or illness is work related is on you, and often an attorney is needed to help obtain the evidence you need to meet the burden of proof.
You have a serious injury.
A claim with a significant injury that requires serious treatment such as surgery is more likely to be opposed by the insurance company.
You aren’t receiving benefits but you don’t understand why.
It is common for insurance companies to fail to provide benefits that claimants are entitled to.
Your doctor says you need treatment but the insurance company won’t pay for it.
Insurance companies will often send you to a doctor they hire, called an “Independent Medical Exam” or “IME” to get a report that disagrees with your treating physician.
You have a third-party claim as part of your injury.
If another party’s negligence in their workplace behavior may have resulted in your injury, your claim can get substantially more complicated.
You have a claim against a large business in Rutland County like GE.
A local Rutland based workers comp lawyer will have more experience bringing claims against a local employer.
It is important to hire an attorney in any of these situations because your workers compensation claim may end up being very complex and involved. A Rutland lawyer who specializes in workers compensation law will be able to help you navigate Vermont’s legal system, work with adjusters on your behalf, and ensure that you receive complete benefits and that your rights are maintained.