State Workers’ Compensation Claims
Why Your Lawyer Matters
Most injuries sustained while working on land are governed by state workers compensation laws. Workers compensation was designed to protect the rights of injured workers. In theory, it works to protect and help both the injured employee and the employer. However, employees may feel intimidated and outgunned when they come up against their employers in a legal dispute. What’s more, the process – and especially the appeals procedure – is complex and difficult to navigate on your own.
For example, while workers compensation puts a cap on damages, there are exceptions — such as when an employer or co-worker intentionally causes harm, or when the injury results from a defective product or a toxic substance. Also, there may be third-parties — drivers, landowners or subcontractors, for instance – who are also liable. Rutter Mills can advise you on all these matters and help you get the maximum compensation you need and deserve. Rutter Mills attorneys have the skills and experience to win your case. We’ve specialized in workers compensation law for more than 50 years, and helped thousands of clients get the benefits they need – and deserve.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Claims
Why Your Lawyer Matters
From tug boat captains to welders, truck drivers to forklift operators, employees who work around the navigable waters of the U.S. are eligible for specific benefits when they get injured on the job through the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). This act is much different from the state laws that govern most injuries sustained on land. That’s why, when you have a longshore case, you need an attorney who is well-versed in the intricacies of the LHWCA. Rutter Mills has focused on Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act cases for decades, and we have the knowledge and experience to get you the compensation you deserve. This may include compensation for lost wages; payment of medical expenses; vocational rehabilitation services; and death benefits for surviving families of fatal accident victims. If you think you have a claim, report it to your supervisor right away. Then, contact Rutter Mills. We can help you navigate the process from there.
Employees in the following roles are often covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act:
- Longshore workers and operators
- Ship repairmen
- Ship builders
- Harbor construction workers
- Winch operators
- Dock men
- Forklift operators
- Pile drivers
What should I do if I am injured on the job?
Get first aid or medical attention right away. The treating health care provider must be authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board (except in an emergency situation). Notify your supervisor as soon as possible, detailing the injury and the way it occurred. You must inform your employer in writing within 30 days following the accident (or within two years of your awareness of an occupational illness) or you may lose the right to WC benefits. And contact an attorney. Your employer’s insurance company is skilled at denying your benefits. Rutter Mills is skilled at making sure that doesn’t happen. We have successfully handled WC cases for more than 50 years, and helped thousands of clients get back on their feet — literally and financially. We’re here when you need us.
Important Facts about State Workers’ Compensation
It is not uncommon for an employer to dispute an employee’s claim, because the rates they pay into the system will be affected by the number of Workers’ Compensation claims paid on their behalf.
The state Workers’ Compensation Board investigates disputed claims and renders a decision about whether the claim is valid. This decision can be appealed through: a hearing, a review panel, and ultimately to a state court if necessary.
Part of the investigation will include a physician evaluation on behalf of the state.
While this is supposed to be an impartial assessment, employees should know that patient-doctor confidentiality does not exist in this situation, and statements made during the exam could be used to argue that the injury was not work-related or is not as severe as purported.
“My entire career has been dedicated to helping injured workers. I started out with the Department of Labor, working with union folks and longshoremen. Since I’ve been in private practice I’ve worked with men and women in just about every occupation you can think of – some of which may surprise you, because they’re not jobs we normally think of as hazardous. But accidents can – and do – happen anywhere, anytime. So we’re here and ready to help – anywhere, anytime.”– Robert Walsh