Under New Hampshire workers’ comp law, employees injured by a work-related accident or illness are entitled to numerous benefits, including medical bills, disability payments, and various other benefits. In order to receive benefits, employees must follow the workers’ comp process. While workers’ comp insurance is meant to benefit employees because they don’t have the burden of proving negligence, it can still be challenging to recover fair compensation.
At Kenison Law Office, we believe in protecting the rights of workers. Insurance companies work to protect their own profits, regardless of an injured worker’s needs. The Manchester injury lawyers at Kenison Law Office work tirelessly to help ensure our client’s claim reaches a favorable outcome that has their best interest at the forefront.
New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Laws
In New Hampshire, workers’ comp operates under a no-fault system that benefits both employers and employees. Employees don’t need to prove negligence to file a claim, and employers can’t be sued for a workplace accident. However, recovering compensation through a workers’ comp claim isn’t as simple as it seems. For a successful workers’ comp cause, the following must be proven.
- You were at work when the accident or injury occurred. If you were at work, the injury could be anything, whether or not it’s related to your work duties.
- You were at an off-site location but engaged in duties related to your work duties. If you’re injured while performing tasks associated with your job, your injuries should be covered under workers’ compensation.
- Your illness or disease was caused by conditions related to your work. Workers’ compensation accident claims also cover conditions or illnesses that develop gradually over time. These conditions might be something like respiratory illness from breathing toxins or chemicals; hearing loss from exposure to prolonged loud noise; or back, neck, or other problems because of heavy lifting, twisting, or other positional issues.
- Once you’ve proven that your injury is work-related, you need to prove that you’re actually injured and that the injury caused economic losses.
The key to workers’ comp claims is not to prove fault or negligence but to determine whether the injury is work-related. However, proving the injury or illness is related to work can be difficult to prove. As mentioned above, insurance companies are rarely eager to pay injured workers the compensation they need. Therefore, they find ways to undervalue or deny claims. This is why it’s important to contact an experienced workplace accident lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace accident or discovery of an illness linked to your working conditions.
A seasoned attorney knows how to strategize and build a claim that proves that your injury or illness is connected to your working conditions and that without the incident at your job, your illness or injury would not have developed.
New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Employee Benefits
In New Hampshire, the following benefits are available to injured workers:
Weekly Indemnity Benefits
Average weekly wage benefits are determined based on the gross income of the injured employee during the 26 weeks preceding the injury and divided by the total number of weeks. The employee may calculate up to 52 weeks prior to the accident.
If a worker is employed by two or more employers, they may be able to receive indemnity benefits from all employers. This may include unreported earnings, uninsured self-employment, and federal and other employment that’s not subject to New Hampshire workers’ comp laws.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
If your work-related injury prevents you from working for a period of time (not permanently), you may be able to recover 60% of the difference between your prior income and post-injury income. You may also be able to collect this benefit for 262 weeks. There’s a three-day waiting period for disability payment benefits. If the disability exceeds 14 days, then the period is waived, and you may receive payment for those days.
Medical Treatment and Transportation
The injured worker may cover costs for medical treatment, including costs for medical appointments, transportation, medications, and any other medical service related to the workplace injury. The workers’ comp insurance company has 30 days in which to either pay the provider or deny the bill. A denial must be sent to the provider, patient, and the Labor Department with a reason for denial and advise the employee of their right to request a hearing.
Permanent Impairment Award
If the injury caused you a permanent injury, then there’s a specific number of weeks that you may be able to receive compensation based on what the law allows.
Permanent impairment is calculated based on the:
- Percentage of loss multiplied by the number of weeks
- Number of weeks multiplied by compensation rate
- The total dollar amount of the benefit
To be considered permanently impaired, you must reach maximum medical improvement. In other words, the doctor does not believe there is potential for future improvement to your condition.
Temporary Alternate Position
If your employer has five or more employees, it’s required to provide temporary alternative work for an injured person. The employer is required to review the employee’s duties prior to the injury and develop a plan to help them return to work in the capacity that allows them to perform their working conditions.
Reinstatement to the Previous Position
If you are able to return to your job, the employer must reinstate them to your former position within 18 months of the injury.
Cost of Living Adjustment
You may be entitled to a cost of living adjustment (weekly compensation) if you receive total disability benefits. This happens after three years of workers’ comp payments if you have been denied social security benefits and receive less than 60% of the current state average weekly wage.
New Hampshire workers’ comp system provides job retraining services. You’d be required to look for work once your doctor gives you a work release, and if you need help learning a new vocation or relearning an old one, there are services available.
Contact Our Experienced Manchester Workplace Accident Lawyers
There are many factors to workers’ comp claims from regulations, deadlines, and other vital aspects, and it’s beneficial for injured workers to have a skilled workplace accident lawyer on their side. Insurance carriers and providers have legal teams with experience reviewing and refuting claims against workplace injuries.