If you have suffered injuries while working on the job and qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Rhode Island, your medical bills and time away from work are likely covered. In fact, you can receive benefits through a Rhode Island workers compensation plan regardless of which party caused the accident or injury. What do you do if the benefits are not enough to cover your losses, damages and pain? Could there be others who are legally liable for the RI work related accident? Employees hurt on the job caused by the reckless, negligent or intentional acts of others usually have the right to file two separate claims for compensation.
Injury on the job claims include:
- A claim for Rhode Island workers’ compensation benefits provided by the insurance company holding the employer’s policy.
- A claim for personal injury against any non-employer entity or individual at fault, also known as a third party claim.
Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer
Additionally, if the employee suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident or car crash while on the job, and the party at fault for causing the accident was underinsured, there may be viable solutions for obtaining compensation through uninsured motorist coverage on their personal policy. They may also be able to file suit for damages against an insured driver who was at fault for the RI car accident.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers injured while performing the duties of their job can file a claim for recompense to cover various damages and losses including:
• The cost of past, current and future medical bills, including hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, dental charges and psychological expenses.
• The past, current and future loss of wages caused by time away from work because of the accident.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation in Rhode Island limit benefits provided to an injured employee. There is no compensation for pain, suffering, mental anguish or emotional stress. The injured employee will not be compensated for any loss of enjoyment of daily living. Because of that, many victims will file a third party claim against additional parties also at fault for the accident.
Filing a Third Party Claim in Providence Superior Court
Many workplace accidents involving illnesses and injuries are the direct result of negligence, carelessness or intentional act of individuals or entities who are not the employer. Because of that, the injured victim often has a legal right to file a claim against any third party at fault for the accident, incident or event in addition to workers’ comp. These claims can include:
• Personal Injury Claim – If you have suffered serious injuries caused by the negligence of a third party while you carried out the duties of your job, you likely have the right to file civil lawsuit or claim against the responsible parties for financial recovery. Common types of third party personal injury claims include being involved in an accident where another vehicle struck you while driving a company car or personal vehicle while working.
• Product Liability Claim – Often times, workers suffer serious injuries by exposure to products or from a defectively manufactured or designed product used on the job. This can include driving a defective forklift, suffering an injury from industrial machinery, working with defective construction tools or being injured from unsafe or malfunctioning equipment. These types of claims are filed against designers, developers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers who make and sell the defective product.
Many injured victims will maximize the recoverable damages by filing a claim for RI workers’ compensation benefits in Providence Workers Compensation Court. They will also file an additional lawsuit or claim against third parties also liable for the injuries. However, the complexity of dealing with two distinct claims for compensation can be challenging and requires the skills of a reputable Rhode Island personal injury lawyer.
Hiring a Rhode Island workers compensation attorney
Hiring a Rhode Island workers compensation attorney can be extremely beneficial and provide numerous viable legal options to help you and your family. Your RI workers comp lawyer or Providence workers compensation attorneys can fully assess and evaluate your case for compensation and help you determine if a valid claim against a third party exists. These cases for compensation are typically handled on contingency to avoid the need of you paying upfront fees for your lawyer’s services. Workplace compensation cases are causes of action that focus on getting compensation if a worker is injured while working. Depending on the individual laws of a state, an employer may be responsible for medical expenses, wages lost during recover, rehabilitation charges, and even death benefits.
Work related accident in Rhode Island
Most work related injuries can result in worker’s compensation claims if they happen on a job site or during the due course of an employee completing a job. Under Rhode Island workers compensation law an injured victim may be entitled to compensation for “…personal injury arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, connected and referable to the employment” RI General Law § 28-33-1 Employees entitled to compensation.
Employees entitled to Rhode Island workers compensation benefits
§ 28-33-1 Employees entitled to compensation. – If an employee who has not given notice of his claim of common law rights of action, or who has given the notice and has waived the common law rights, as provided in § 28-29-19, receives a personal injury arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, connected and referable to the employment, he or she shall be paid compensation, as hereinafter provided, by an employer subject to or who has elected to become subject to the provisions of chapters 29 – 38 of this title.”
Many accidents happen in agriculture, construction, and transport industries. Even workers in office jobs or creative employments sometimes successfully file for worker’s compensation in RhodeIisland and Providence Plantations. According to statistics gathered by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, these 19 accidents are the top causes for a worker to file a compensation claim:
Top Causes of workers comp claims:
- Overexerted muscles caused by moving heavy items, holding heavy items, or making other exhausting movements.
- Overexerted joints caused by movements required for a job.
- Slipping and falling on a wet floor or badly maintained sidewalk
- Tripping and falling over a workplace hazard
- Falling off a ladder, roof, stairs, or other high level.
- Tripping over an object that damages the worker without a fall, such as a sprained ankle.
- Hit by an object falling off of a shelf or out of a cupboard.
- Having something dropped on the claimant by a worker on a higher level.
- Getting pushed or falling against an object with enough force to cause damage.
- Accidents while driving a vehicle for work.
- Getting into an accident while traveling due to work equipments.
- Being crushed by a piece of heavy machinery that shifts or moves suddenly.
- Being pulled into a machine that mangles or mutilates the worker.
- Repetitive stress injuries that damage joints with cumulative motions.
- Violent attacks or homicides in the workplace, particularly by another co-worker.
- Getting electrified while working.
- Developing asthma after working in an environment with airborne irritants.
- Being deafened by constant loud sounds such as machinery or alarms.
- Getting vibration white finger, which happens when constant hand vibration causes irreversible numbness in the hands.
Is a worker’s family entitled to recover benefits as a result of a fatal work accident in Rhode Island?
“§ 28-33-12 Death benefits payable to dependents. – (a)(1) If death results from the injury, the employer shall pay the dependents of the employee wholly dependent upon his or her earnings for support at the time of his or her injury or death, whichever is the greater in number, a weekly payment equal to the rate that would have been payable for total incapacity to the deceased employee under the provisions of § 28-33-17, except as provided in this section in case the dependent is the surviving spouse or child under the age of eighteen (18) of that employee.
(2) If the dependent is a surviving spouse, or surviving spouse upon whom there is dependent one or more children of the deceased employee including an adopted child or stepchild under the age of eighteen (18) years or over that age but physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, the employer shall pay the surviving spouse the weekly rate for total incapacity the deceased employee would have been entitled to receive under the provisions of § 28-33-17 plus forty dollars ($40.00) per week for each dependent child.” TITLE 28 Labor and Labor Relations CHAPTER 28-33 Workers’ Compensation – Benefits SECTION 28-33-12 § 28-33-12 Death benefits payable to dependents. –
Rhode Island workers compensation
If you or someone you know is involved in a workers compensation claim in Providence, a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer may be able to provide assistance. Contact a RI workers comp attorney who is also a RI personal injury lawyer to learn more about how to get justice for a workplace injury in Rhode Island. If you need a RI workers compensation lawyer make sure you retain one of the best Rhode Island workers compensation attorneys.
Work related injuries can occur in Rhode Island in any industry and in any manner. Injuries from physical accidents, chemical exposure, air quality issues, and non-physical events can take place. There are, however, some injuries that occur more than others and are type specific to certain industries. Understanding these common injuries and where they most often happen will allow you to be more careful and remain safe. If you were injured at work in Rhode Island, contact a RI work injury accident lawyer. (RI workers comp attorney)
Many victims of work accidents are seeking workers comp lawyers by searching for: “workers compensation ri lawyers” or “ri workers comp settlements.” Workers compensation court in RI is a difficult place to navigate and it is important to get a top RI workers comp. attorney on your side.
Trauma to the head during a fall or being hit by a piece of equipment is the leading cause for workplace injury in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, head injuries due to falls are most common in the construction industry. This includes building and road construction and some manufacturers that build large pieces of equipment. The leading cause for these injuries is faulty safety equipment.
Back injuries are the second highest claimed injury in the U.S. This injury averages about the same percentage throughout all industries. However, back injuries in an office setting are slightly higher. It is believed that this is due to improperly bending or lifting within the office setting. Construction and manufacturing are the second highest industry for this injury type. A RI workers compensation lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of respiratory illnesses associated with work related injuries. These injuries are generally categorized into 3 sections:
• Chemical Exposure
• Soot Exposure or Mining Air Quality
• Sick Building Syndrome (Black Mold Infestation)
Each of these illnesses are generally industry specific. However, Sick Building Syndrome can occur in any industry and any building type.
Repetitive Movement Syndrome
Many people who work within an office setting are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome in their hands and wrists from excessive typing. In addition, repetitive movement syndrome has been increasingly appearing within the manufacturing sector for people who continually use power tools and have the vibrating motion in their arms and torso areas. This type of injury has also been found in job positions where the person must make the same motion over and over, such as sorting packages.
All Other Injuries
There are also many other injuries that can occur while on the job. Lacerations, fractures, neck injuries, and contusions can all occur in any industry and under any circumstance. To avoid any type of injury it is always advisable to use safety equipment when necessary, follow safety standards, and always remain cautious about your surroundings. While all injuries may not be able to be avoided, you can reduce your risk by following those guidelines. If you were injured in a work related accident in Rhode Island then you should contact a top Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer who has experience litigating RI personal injury causes of action
Slepkow Slepkow and Associates, Inc.
Slepkow Slepkow and Associates, Inc. was established in 1932 and has a 90year history of providing high quality and effective legal services to our clients. At Slepkow, Slepkow & Associates, Inc. we review and help clients with work related accidents in Rhode Island. RI attorney David Slepkow was honored to be voted by Rhode Island residents as a 2018 Providence Journal Readers’ choice award recipient, third place. The law firm of Slepkow Slepkow & Associates, Inc. was also a third place finalist in the 2018 Providence Journal Reader’s choice awards.
Accidents that can cause serious injuries can happen any time or any place, even in the workplace. Both small and large businesses experience accidents every day, some even resulting in death. More than 3.3 million workers suffer serious injuries every year while on the job. Not only can workplace accidents cause debilitating injuries for workers, but they also can damage the economy. Since many accidents in Rhode Island are preventable, many companies work diligently to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. Workers must assume some of the responsibility by staying alert and taking precautions on the job, but even the most diligent are vulnerable to the most common accidents that can and do occur in Rhode Island and providence Plantations. An injured victim should retain a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer.
Falls in Rhode Island
One of the most common workplace accidents involves a fall. One level falls such as slipping on a wet surface or tripping on an object can cause serious injuries including broken bones. Falling down stairs or falling off a ladder can occur on any job where an elevation is present. Construction workers in Rhode Island are especially vulnerable to falls from roofs or scaffolding.
Machinery Accidents in RI
In a factory setting involving heavy equipment and machinery, extra precautions are required to prevent hair, clothing or arms and fingers from injury. Even though protective equipment is required on these jobs, accidents do occur. Proper knowledge and training cannot prevent all accidents if proper precautions are not taken. Focus and attention are important, but still may not prevent injuries.
Overexertion and Improper Lifting
Back injuries related to jobs that require carrying, pushing, lifting, and throwing account for numerous workplace injuries. Proper training and education regarding prevention of overexertion injuries play a key role in workplace safety. Most of these types of injuries are preventable when proper measures are taken. Back injuries cause financial strain as well as physical problems for workers.
Typing and using the computer strains muscles and tendons that can lead to back pain and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Office-related injuries including vision problems are common when employees sit most of the day doing the same job.
Walking into Objects
Serious injuries can happen when a person walks into stationary objects such as glass windows, doors, tables, chairs and other objects. Running into an object can result in injuries to the neck, head, back, knees, or feet. These accidents occur when the workplace is not kept free In the event that you are injured at work, make sure you retain a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer. A RI workers compensation attorney can help you get the compensation that you deserve in your workers comp claim.
“The Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program provides annual information on the rate and number of work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries, and how these statistics vary by incident, industry, geography, occupation, and other characteristics. These data are collected through the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)”
In Massachusetts, an employee cannot pursue a wrongful death case as a result of a fatal accident against his or her employer for an injury that happens at work unless he gives written notice at the start of the employment. Therefore, the decedent’s estate is limited to collecting damages as allowed by the Mass. Wrongful Death statute (Chapter 152). This rule applies in all work related injuries including work related truck accidents, construction accidents, slip and fall, car accidents as well as premises liability claims. Of course, the estate for a decedent could still pursue damages against other third parties who are not the employer. For example, the estate of an employee working as dump truck operator could file a wrongful death case against the negligent operator of motor vehicle who was involved in a fatal MA car collision which caused his death.
The MA Workers Compensation statute states in pertinent part:
“Section 24. An employee shall be held to have waived his right of action at common law or under the law of any other jurisdiction in respect to an injury that is compensable under this chapter, to recover damages for personal injuries, if he shall not have given his employer, at the time of his contract of hire, written notice that he claimed such right, or, if the contract of hire was made before the employer became an insured person or self-insurer, if the employee shall not have given the said notice within thirty days of the time said employer became an insured person or self-insurer.” THE TRAGIC CASE of SAAB v. MASSACHUSETTS CVS PHARMACY LLC, 452 – Mass. 564 (2008)
Massachusetts workers compensation lawyer
The Mass. Workers Compensation statute was enacted to make it easier for workers to receive quick compensation for personal injuries at work without proving any negligence on behalf of the employer. Please consult with a MA Personal Injury Attorney or Workers Compensation lawyer if you are in need of legal representation in Massachusetts
A wrongful death
In Saab, an 18 year old young man attempted to apprehend a shoplifter while working at CVS . The Shoplifter pulled out a knife and killed the Young man. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the young man’s parents were precluded from obtaining any recovery as a result of the language of the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Statute. In Saab, the Young man was killed while working. “Giambrone was employed at a CVS store on Longwood Avenue in Boston. In February, 2004, while at work, Giambrone and other employees attempted to apprehend a suspected shoplifter. The suspect responded violently, stabbing Giambrone in the neck with a knife. Giambrone died at the scene shortly thereafter. At the time of his death, Giambrone was an eighteen year old high school student who lived at his mother’s home. He was financially dependent on both parents and had no dependents himself.” SAAB v. MASSACHUSETTS CVS PHARMACY LLC
Exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act
The Saab Court set forth the issue presented: “We consider in this case whether an exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act (act), G.L. c. 152, § 24 (§ 24), bars an employee’s parents from bringing a wrongful death claim against his employer where the employee is injured at work but no workers’ compensation payments are paid for the injury. Here, the employee, Cristian Ribeiro Giambrone, who had no dependents, died almost immediately. Accordingly, no benefits were paid under the workers’ compensation statutory scheme. See G.L. c. 152, § 31 (benefits payable to employee’s dependents on death of employee).” Id.
The Court ruled that: “Accordingly, any remedies against CVS for any wrong suffered as a result of his injury are subject to the strictures of § 24. To hold otherwise-to condition compensability on the payment of compensation-risks “undercut[ting] the legislative scheme.” Id.
Contact an experienced Massachusetts Attorney dealing with work injuries and related claims, to fight for your rights!
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.