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Appealing a Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Decision

If you were denied workers’ compensation benefits by your employer in Rhode Island, that doesn’t have to be the final answer. You can appeal a workers’ compensation decision.

To learn how the process works, and how a workers’ compensation attorney from our firm can help you, call Gemma Law Associates, Inc. or contact us online.

Our consultations are free and confidential. We can advise you based on our extensive experience of handling workers’ compensation appeals and helping workers and their families to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.

The Process for Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Appeals

If a dispute arises between you and your employer concerning workers’ compensation benefits, then you can file a petition with the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court, which has jurisdiction over these types of cases.

Your case will go through the following stages:

1. Pretrial conference – Within 21 days after the petition is filed, a pretrial conference will be held with the goal of settling the dispute. If no settlement can be reached, the court will enter a binding pretrial order. This order takes effect as soon as it is entered.

2. Initial hearing – If either you or your employer is not satisfied with the pretrial order, you can appeal the court’s order and request a trial. The claim for trial must be filed within five days of the pretrial order being entered. This will place the case on the calendar for an initial hearing.

At the initial hearing, the court will get the parties to focus on the issues that are in dispute. For instance, the parties may agree on what the employee’s average weekly wages are. So, they can stipulate to that figure. On the other hand, they may disagree on whether the employee is entitled to temporary or permanent disability benefits. That dispute will be the subject of the trial.

The court will also take care of matters such as marking exhibits, establishing a witness list, and scheduling the trial date (or dates).

3. Trial – This is a full hearing, with the presentation of evidence and witness testimony. Once each side has presented its evidence, testimony and arguments, the court must make findings of fact and file a decree, or decision.

4. Intermediate Appeal – Either side may appeal the court’s decision. First, an appeal can be made to the intermediate Appellate Division of the Workers’ Compensation Court. A panel of judges will be appointed to review the dispute. The panel will examine the trial record and focus mainly on the legal issues. (The panel won’t make new findings of fact unless the trial court judge clearly erred in its findings.) The panel ultimately will issue a decision that affirms, reverses or modifies the trial court judge’s decree.

5. Final Appeal – Finally, if either the employee or employer wishes to appeal the panel’s decision, they can file what is called a “Writ of Certiorari” with the Rhode Island Supreme Court. This is a way of asking the court to review the panel’s decision to determine whether any mistakes were made that had a negative impact on your case.

The majority of workers’ compensation disputes in Rhode Island are resolved efficiently, including being settled at the pretrial conference. However, some appeals can take a significant amount of time to resolve.

At Gemma Law Associates, Inc., we will make sure that you have a full understanding of the issues involved in your case and the time commitment that may be involved. We also will make sure you are always fully informed and updated at each stage of your case.

Experienced Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Appeals Attorneys

The Rhode Island worker injury lawyers of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., understand what’s at stake in a Rhode Island workers’ compensation appeal. We know that you and your family will need benefits to survive. That’s why we will work efficiently and effectively to meet your goals in as timely of a manner as possible.

Although we can begin our assistance at any point in the appeals process, it would be much more beneficial to have a lawyer at your side from the beginning.

To schedule a free consultation with a workers’ comp lawyer about your case, call us today or complete our online form. We’re ready to help you right away.

Serving the Greater Providence metro area, including Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, North Providence, South Kingston, Coventry, Cumberland, Woonsocket, and East Providence.

Gemma law is the best and helped and guided me threw everything … highly recommended thank you so much
ellen almgren
ellen almgren
5 stars all the way. They did exactly what was expected. Good Job
Keith Ruggiero
Keith Ruggiero
Very efficient and very good with communicating with me. I received updates about my case without having to call and request them. Very good law office! Very satisfied.
Bethania Herrera
Bethania Herrera
Mark Gemma has been absolutely amazing. He was helpful and answered all concerns and questions I’ve had. Him and his team are beyond incredible, supportive, and sweet. I would like to thank them all for everything they’ve done.
Samantha Argus
Samantha Argus
very professional and honest, what I liked the most is whenever you call the lawyer returns your call with every concern I had. It was my first time and I would not hesitate to trust them again.
Diana Palacio
Diana Palacio
This team is extremely helpful and kind. Mark Gemma was a great help in guiding me through this whole process and was a huge help. I would recommend this team to anyone seeking legal counsel
Zachary Dustin
Zachary Dustin
I am so happy with the turnout of my case. Both Sarah and Peter kept me up to date on everything and worked very hard on my case. The whole staff is friendly and diligent with their work. 100% recommend!
Chelsie Abatiello
Chelsie Abatiello
Managed to get my money before Christmas...in just days after settling! Great communication and always helped with my needs, and always gave good advice. Would definitely recommend.
Trini Luckey
Trini Luckey
Always professional and always checking in on their clients. Excellent atmosphere.
Susan Hallam
Susan Hallam
After spending 8 hours in a hospital overnight to get stitches in my lip because of a drunk driver’s negligent decision to get behind the wheel, the last thing I wanted to do was think about it all. I sent an email to Gemma Law, and Mark Gemma quickly called me back with an empathetic approach to listening to my story and helping me figure out the next steps. When he told me I wouldn’t have to have any contact with the insurance companies, I was HOOKED! When he pointed out how unfortunate it was I might have to miss out on a lip modeling career from a potential scar from the stitches, I was SOLD! And when I finally received my settlement check after letting him do all the leg work while I just focused on recovering, I was and am eternally GRATEFUL! Mark Gemma helped me turn a near death experience into a new start in life and I highly recommend him to anybody needing a personal injury lawyer.
Angie Sherman
Angie Sherman

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