If you are employed in Rhode Island, you are covered by workers’ compensation. This is a state-administered insurance program. It provides money for medical expenses and lost wages to employees who are injured while working.
However, you have to meet a variety of requirements to obtain Rhode Island workers’ compensation benefits. For many workers, the system can be complex and confusing.
To help you get started in the process, we suggest you follow these steps if you are injured on the job:
1. Report your workplace injury
In Rhode Island, you must report your workplace injury or illness to your employer. This starts the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer will file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Rhode Island law requires employers with one or more employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance. To report an employer that you believe does not have workers’ compensation insurance, call (401) 462-8100 option 4 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Seek medical assistance
If a workplace accident causes serious or life-threatening injury, an ambulance will likely be called. If you are not incapacitated, or if you realize you are hurt while away from work, you should still seek medical attention. Follow any medical instructions the doctor or other medical professionals provide, such as taking medication or getting rest.
3. Document your injury
If possible, keep a record of your workplace accident, your injury, and your recovery. Note how the accident happened and any pain you experienced, including delayed pain. Keep notes from your medical exam and save any records the doctor gives you. Make a list of over-the-counter or prescribed medications you take. Keep records of follow-up surgery, therapy, or other medical procedures or treatment. Also, record how you feel as time goes on, including any lingering pain or discomfort and any limitations. You should note any impairment of your ability to perform work or other basic functions such as manual tasks, moving about, and caring for yourself. This information will help to establish your need for workers’ compensation benefits after an injury.
4. Do not talk to insurers until you speak with an attorney
If you are contacted by your employer’s insurance company or another representative of your employer with an offer of compensation, you should state that you wish to speak with an attorney first. Do not sign any statements that you do not thoroughly understand (unless it is a form that must be filled out to receive medical care).
5. Contact an experienced Rhode Island workplace injury lawyer
When you engage the assistance of an experienced Rhode Island workplace accident lawyer, you acquire the services of a dedicated legal advocate who will work to protect your rights and interests. Your employer’s insurance company will seek what’s best for its own bottom line. Your employer will look out for its corporate interests. You need someone who will look out for you.
A workplace injury/workers’ compensation attorney will understand and protect your legal rights and advise you of your obligations as well as the obligations of your employer’s insurance company.
During any appearances before the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s Workers’ Compensation Division, your employer’s insurance company will be represented by an attorney. You should have an attorney experienced with RI workers’ compensation programs to represent you.
Most workplace injury/workers’ compensation lawyers, including those of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., do not charge a fee unless you recover compensation for your injuries.
Contact Our Rhode Island Workplace Injury Lawyers Today
Gemma Law Associates represents workplace accident victims and their families in workers’ compensation claims across Rhode Island. If you are an out-of-state worker injured at a job site in Rhode Island, we can help you, too.
Call our Rhode Island workplace injury attorneys today toll-free at 1-800-577-5188 or use our online form. We can provide you with a free and confidential evaluation of your case and help you determine your legal options.