Workers Compensation in Vermont

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 Vermont 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 Vermont workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Vermont?

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the majority of workplace fatalities in Vermont are a result of transportation incidents in the natural resources, construction, and maintenance industries. Most non-fatal work injuries are the result of overexertion, falls, and contact with objects or equipment. Non-fatal injuries occur most frequently in the healthcare and retail industries. In addition, the most common injuries are strains, sprains, and tears. Fractures, however, are the injuries responsible for the most days of missed work, with the median time out being 48 days.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Vermont?

There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Vermont 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. 

Workers compensation insurance is required for all employers in Vermont. The burden of proof is on the employee to show that the injury was work-related. However, once that burden is met, all reasonable and necessary medical care and treatment is covered. This can include mental health treatment. An employer may require an initial appointment with the company doctor, but the employee can utilize a doctor of their choice for subsequent treatment. For temporary impairments that result in 4 or more days of missed work, lost wages are covered at a rate of ⅔ of the employee’s regular wages.

According to the Vermont Department of Labor, the minimum weekly benefit is $427, and the maximum is $1281. Vocational rehabilitation can also be covered if you are unable to return to the original employment. Death benefits are also covered if the injuries are fatal. In addition, Vermont employers are required to reinstate injured employees if they are medically cleared to work within two years from the start of the disability. All settlements must be approved by the Vermont Division of Workers’ Compensation.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Vermont 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 Vermont 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 Vermont workers comp works.

Vermont workers must notify their employer of a work-related injury immediately. The employee must then file a workers’ compensation claim within 6 months of the injury.

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. 

Under Vermont law, temporary disability benefits are available for 104 weeks. After this time expires, the Department of Labor will determine whether benefits should continue. For injuries that have caused permanent disabilities, your doctor will assign you a disability rating. This can help calculate the benefits you receive.

Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In learning how Vermont 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 might question whether you suffered an injury 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 Vermont workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Vermont

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 Vermont 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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