If you live in Providence, RI, and you have been involved in a work related injury or you have fallen ill because of your work, you may be eligible for workers compensation benefits. Workers compensation is the oldest form of insurance in the United States.
Industrial jobs have grown rapidly in the past few years and workplace injuries have become more common, which is why there was a need to have a system in place to deal with the injuries and to compensate workers who suffered from them.
Before workers’ compensation was established, if an employee suffered a work related injury, they had to sue their employer to pay for medical expenses and recover lost and future wages.
There are certain requirements that workers must meet in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits. Below is a discussion of the requirements.
How To Know You Are Eligible For Workers Compensation Benefits
1. Your Employer Must Be Covered By Workers’ Compensation
Not all employers need to have workers’ compensation. A number of factors determine whether an employer has workers’ compensation. Some of them include:
- The number of employees they have
- The type of business they are conducting
- The type of work their employees are doing
If your employer insists they are not covered by workers compensation, you may want to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you.
Employers can provide coverage either by self-insuring or by purchasing insurance from a state fund or private market. State employees are encouraged to seek compensation from the federal government’s compensation system.
2. You Must Be An Employee
In order for you to be eligible for workers compensation benefits, you must be an employee of the organization. This means that if you are an independent contractor, for instance, you will not be eligible for compensation. Some employers may think that some of their employees are independent contractors when in real sense they are not.
If you have been involved in a work related injury and your employer has denied you benefits because they claim you are an independent contractor, you may want to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Other examples of employees who are not eligible for workers’ compensation include volunteers, freelance writers and computer consultants.
3. Your Injury Must Be Work Related
You must show that your injuries are clearly work related. For instance, if you fell ill due to exposure to hazardous materials while on the job, slipped and fell on a slippery surface and broke your leg while working on a construction site or developed carpal tunnel syndrome while typing on the job, then your injuries are clearly work related.
There is no guarantee that if you meet all the three requirements discussed above you will be eligible for workers compensation benefits. If your employer claims that you fall into any of the following criteria, then you are not entitled to benefits.
1. Undocumented worker. States such as Utah, Texas, New York, Nevada, Montana, Florida, California and Arizona expressly cover undocumented workers but other states such as Rhode Island are yet to deal with the issue.
2.Seasonal Worker. You may not be entitled to benefits if you work at only certain times of the year or work only sporadically.
3. Loaned worker. If you work as a loaned worker through an agency, then the agency will provide workers’ compensation for you.
4. Farm worker. Many states exempt farm workers from workers compensation benefits.
5. Domestic worker. Some states don’t require employees to provide workers’ compensation to domestic workers such as housekeepers or babysitters.
Hiring A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Providence, RI
Providence, RI, workers’ compensation lawyers are familiar with all the laws that are designed to protect you. We understand that some employers would rather go around the law than compensate their workers.
If you have been injured at work, we can help you get compensation for your injuries. We know the Massachusetts and Rhode Island statues and we can help build a solid case. Our team of experts are happy to meet you whenever and at whatever time you feel you are ready. We offer free initial consultations and we can come to wherever is convenient for you.
Get in touch with one of our lawyers at 401-751-0101 or fill out our contact form.