Workers Compensation in Rhode Island

You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Rhode Island state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Rhode Island workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Rhode Island?

Sprains, strain, muscle tears, and acute soreness and pain are all incredibly common workplace injuries in Rhode Island. According to The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, The Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation System is a form of no fault insurance that provides assistance to injured employees. Employees who suffer work-related injuries, or who contract a work-related illness, have the right to receive medical and monetary benefits.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Rhode Island?

There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Rhode Island workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss. 

Employers with 1 or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Rhode Island. The only exemptions are sole proprietors, partners, and certain real estate, agricultural, and domestic service employees. The Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation System entitles you to, lost wages, partial disability, total disability, and medical benefits. In addition, as stated by the Rhode Island Judiciary, you are initially free to obtain medical treatment from any qualified professional. But if the insurer has filed for a preferred network then you must choose a physician from within that network.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Rhode Island are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from a Rhode Island healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.

Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Rhode Island workers comp works.

According to The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, an employee must file a claim for workers’ compensation within 2 years of the initial accident or incident. This two years can possibly run for longer if an occupational illness takes longer to manifest. It is always best to seek medical attention immediately if you have been injured. Then you should report the incident to your employer. If any dispute should arise, try and settle it without filing a petition. But if a resolution can’t be found, you can contact an attorney and they will assist you with filing your petition.

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report  with the report of injury.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. 

In Rhode Island a claimant cannot receive more than 80% of their average weekly wage. For temporary and permanent total disability, the maximum weekly payment is $908.00. This is 110% of Rhode Island’s average weekly wage. There is no set cap for this payment, and you can receive these benefits as long as the disability persists. Additionally, there can be an award benefit of $15 is for each dependent.

Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In learning how Rhode Island workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a Rhode Island workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Rhode Island

Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Rhode Island state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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