TAP TO CALL 401.467.2300
Tap for a Free Case Consultation 401.467.2300
  • Get a Free Case Consultation 401.467.2300
  • Get a Free Case Consultation 401.467.2300

Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits

With a few exceptions, if you are employed in Rhode Island and suffer a work-related injury or an occupational illness, you have a right to workers’ compensation under the Rhode Island system.

The Rhode Island workers’ compensation program is a “no-fault” insurance program. An injured or ill employee eligible for benefits does not have to show that the employer caused or was at fault for the employee’s injury or illness.

Availability of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In Rhode Island, the workers’ compensation program provides money to help injured workers to pay medical and rehabilitation expenses. It also can replace lost wages during their recovery.

The recovering worker has the right to choose his or her own health care, diagnosis and treatment from any qualified health care provider initially. The employer may compel the worker to see the employer’s preferred medical providers for subsequent care, but this does not restrict the worker from seeing the doctor, therapists, etc., he prefers on his own.

Workers’ compensation also provides disability payments for workers who will not be able to resume employment, and death benefits to families of workers who have died in workplace accidents.

The various benefits are paid according to formulas set by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. An injured employee’s employer files the benefits claim, since it is a claim against insurance the employer holds.

The Workers’ Compensation Court handles legal disputes, or appeals of benefit denials or awards. The Medical Advisory Board provides oversight and guidance for medical treatment provided for injuries covered by workers’ compensation. The Department of Business Regulations regulates the rates and licenses of insurers who write workers’ compensation insurance.

Challenging the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation System

It isn’t difficult to see how disagreements can arise if benefits are denied or the amount of benefits that are awarded do not meet the needs of a worker recovering from an on-the-job injury or of the surviving family of someone who has died after suffering a workplace injury. It is also easy to see how a worker struggling to recover from a debilitating injury could become overwhelmed by a government bureaucracy deciding his financial fate.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim after a workplace injury and then receiving benefit checks is not always as simple as it may sound. Like any insurance program, it is not in the insurer’s financial interest to pay claims. In some cases, an employer has not obtained the workers’ comp coverage the law requires.

Even when an injury clearly occurred while a worker was on the job, workers’ compensation insurers can and often do dispute the idea that the worker’s injury was related to his or her job. Various complicated court cases in Rhode Island have revolved around the relationship between the worker’s injury and their job.

When a worker’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits is denied, or benefits that are approved are not satisfactory, the worker has the right to file an appeal challenging that decision.

The Workers’ Compensation Court requires a nominal fee to file an appeal, and the court itself recommends that workers who appeal workers’ compensation decisions hire an attorney. Once notice of appeal is filed with the court, a pre-trial hearing will be scheduled within 21 days.

The appeals process has several levels of decisions, and the injured worker has several options for appealing decisions that are not satisfactory, including a courtroom trial and, if necessary, appealing the outcome of the trial to a three-judge panel.

As a workers’ compensation case makes its way to court, the workers’ compensations system assumes that the injured worker will have obtained legal help. For instance, a worker appealing a workers’ compensation ruling is not allowed to speak to the judge about their case. “All correspondence should be made through your lawyer,” the Workers’ Compensation Court says.

Contact Our Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today

Because they must address any likely circumstance involving an on-the-job injury or illness, the regulations and procedures of the Rhode Island workers’ compensation system are complex and voluminous. Trying to work your way through them for the first time, on your own, can easily overwhelm anyone.

The Rhode Island workers’ compensation attorneys of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., represent workplace injury victims and their families in workers’ compensation claims across Rhode Island. We help workers in Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Newport, Cranston, Bristol and Woonsocket. If you are an out-of-state worker injured at a Rhode Island jobsite, we can help you, too.

Contact our Rhode Island workers’ compensation lawyers today at our toll-free number or through our online form. We will provide a free and confidential evaluation of your case and help you determine your legal options.

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

Health Study Links Chemical Hair Products to Higher Uterine Cancer Risk

January 3, 2023

A recent National Institutes of Health study linking frequent use of chemical hair straighteners to increased risk of developing uterine cancer also found that Black women may be more affected...

Gemma Law Supports Elmwood Little League: 21 Years of Sponsorship

May 20, 2022

Gemma Law Associates, Inc. will back you up in sports and with your personal injury case. Alfred Gemma began his personal injury law firm, Gemma Law Associates, Inc., in Providence,...

National Ladder Safety Month

March 25, 2022

March is National Ladder Safety Month. According to the American Ladder Institute, more than 100 people die, and thousands of others suffer disabling injuries in ladder-related accidents each year. So,...

Women’s History Month: Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

March 17, 2022

Mark Gemma and Ruth Bader Ginsburg having a conversation over dessert at Roger Williams School of Law. This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month and remember the incredible women who...

Gemma Law Associates, Inc. Earns 2022 Best Law Firm Ranking

November 18, 2021

We are proud to announce that Gemma Law Associates, Inc. has been recognized as a Best Law Firm for 2022 by U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers®.  Law...

Rhode Island’s Worst Intersections

August 31, 2022

Driving around Rhode Island can be a challenge. It can be difficult to drive on roads filled with drivers who are distracted, lost, or unaware of the rules of the...

Avoiding Workplace Injuries

August 30, 2022

In the course of an average workday, many of us perform tasks in a variety of fields that could potentially put our health and welfare at risk. While our jobs...