Barre Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
We Represent Injured Workers in Barre and Throughout Washington County
At Sabbeth Law, our Barre workers’ comp lawyers are here to protect your rights and help you recover the full and fair financial support that you rightfully deserve. If you or someone you know was hurt on the job in Washington County, VT, we are more than prepared to get started on your case right away. For a free, fully confidential consultation with an experienced work injury attorney in Vermont, please call us now or reach out to us directly online.
An Overview Of The Workers’ Comp Laws In Vermont
Were you hurt on the job in Washington County, VT? If so, it is essential that you have an awareness of your rights and responsibilities under our state’s workers’ comp laws. A work-related accident or occupational disease can cause a serious disruption to your life. Here are five things to know about workers’ comp claims in Vermont:
- Employers Must Provide Workers’ Comp Coverage: Vermont law requires all businesses and not-for-profit organizations to provide workers’ comp insurance for their staff. Both full-time and part-time employees should be covered by workers’ comp. If you believe that your employer improperly failed to obtain workers’ comp insurance, we can help you determine the best course of action.
- Injured Workers are Entitled to No-Fault Benefits: With a standard personal injury claim, you must prove fault in order to hold a defendant liable. However, workers’ compensation claims are not based on fault. Vermont mandates that employers must obtain no-fault benefits for their employees. If you were hurt on the job, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits even if your employer was not at fault for the accident.
- There are Strict Notice Requirements: The single most important thing to know about your responsibilities after a workplace accident is that you have to tell your employer that you were hurt on the job. Under Vermont law, employees that fail to notify their employer in a reasonably timely manner could be denied an opportunity to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Report your work injury or illness to your immediate supervisor without delay.
- Benefits for Medical Care and Wage Loss: As a baseline, workers’ compensation provides benefits for medical care and wage replacement. You can pursue workers’ comp coverage for all medical treatment and rehabilitative care that is necessary and reasonably related to your job. Additionally, you are entitled to wage loss benefits for the time you are forced to miss at work. In general, workers’ comp benefits are paid at a rate of two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly earnings.
- Workers’ Comp Denials Can Be Appealed: Sadly, some people struggle to get their workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim was denied, you need professional guidance and support. You have the right to file an appeal. Call our Barre, VT workers’ comp appeal lawyers for immediate help with your legal case.
With workers’ compensation claims in Vermont, it is always best to take a proactive approach. Our law firm has recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for injured workers and their families. No matter the specific circumstances that you are dealing with, we are ready to help you find the best path forward.
How The Barre Workers’ Comp Lawyers At Sabbeth Law Can Help
The work injury claims process can be stressful and confusing. At Sabbeth Law, we are here to make sure that you know exactly what you need to do to protect your rights and recover full financial compensation. Along with other things, our Barre workers’ comp attorneys are prepared to:
- Answer questions and listen to your story during a free case evaluation;
- Complete all of the workers’ comp claims paperwork; and
- Take steps to ensure that you get the maximum available financial support.
Your workers’ compensation claim should never be handled like just another number. We will put in the effort, resources, and attention to detail to truly understand your case. You can rely on our Barre, VT workers’ comp lawyers for the highest level of personalized representation.
FAQs about Worker’s Compensation
Can I sue my employer for my accident?
No. Workers’ compensation benefits come with some strings. One is that an injured worker cannot sue their employer, even if the employer’s lax safety contributed to an accident. Consequently, you can’t bring a lawsuit against your employer.
However, you might be able to sue a non-employer for your injuries. Imagine that you are traveling for your job as a delivery driver or salesman. If someone slams into you on the highway, then you could sue the driver for negligence. Similarly, you might sue a customer or vendor for accidentally hurting you while working.
We have sometimes filed personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturers of dangerous products used on the job. A defective ladder could collapse underneath you, leading to a concussion and a back injury. Although you can’t sue your employer, you might sue the ladder manufacturer.
Will I receive 100% of my lost wages with workers’ compensation?
No. You will typically receive about two-thirds of your average weekly wage in temporary disability benefits. That will help reduce some of the economic stress you feel, but you will probably suffer a drop in income until you can return to work. Helpfully, if you can bring a third-party lawsuit, you can seek full compensation for lost wages.
Can an independent contractor receive workers’ compensation benefits?
No. Independent contractors are not employees, so they are not covered. You can identify if you are an independent contractor by checking how you are paid. If your company withholds employment tax, then you are probably an employee. Independent contractors receive a 1099 at the end of the year for tax purposes.
You might have been misclassified, however. This is a real problem in Vermont. Employers have an incentive to classify employees as independent contractors so they can save on workers’ compensation premiums. You should consult an attorney who can review your real classification. Vermont’s law is generally favorable to workers when it comes to challenging a misclassification. Many people classified as independent contractors will really be employees, and you could possibly submit a claim for workers’ compensation.
Do seasonal employees qualify for workers’ compensation if they are hurt at work?
Yes. Vermont’s economy is powered by seasonal workers who, in the winter, flock to ski resorts to find jobs and, in the summer and fall, often work on farms. Seasonal employees should be eligible for workers’ compensation the moment they start working, since there is no waiting period. Once you begin the job, you are eligible for benefits if you are hurt while working.
Contact an attorney. Some seasonal workers are really independent contractors, so you might not be eligible in that case.
Can I receive benefits if I was struck while driving to work?
Not usually, but there are exceptions. Generally, workers’ compensation insurance covers injuries you suffer in the course of employment. If you have fixed hours and a place of employment, then accidents suffered while driving into work or back home at the end of the day are not covered by workers’ compensation.
Here is an example: you work as an administrative assistant in an office with hours set from 9:00 to 5:00. If you are hurt while driving into work in the morning, you probably cannot receive workers’ compensation. The same is true if you’re struck while driving home at the end of your shift.
There are exceptions to this general rule. For example, if you are struck in the parking lot at work, you are likely covered since you are on the premises of your job. The same is true if you slip and fall while walking into the building.
You might also be covered if your boss told you to pick something up or drop something off while coming into work (or while leaving work). Likewise, if you are driving a company car, then your accident should be covered, regardless of where it happens.
I want to train for a new job—should my employer cover vocational training?
Vocational benefits are covered by workers’ compensation. You can request these benefits if you have been on temporary total disability for at least 90 days. With a rehabilitation counselor, you can create a return-to-work plan.
Vocational rehabilitation will differ for each worker. The goal is to return you to suitable employment since you cannot return to your old job. Some impaired workers will need help applying for different jobs, whereas other workers might seek additional education or certifications to help them begin working in a new industry.
Contact Our Barre, VT Workers’ Comp Attorneys Today
At Sabbeth Law, our Vermont workers’ comp lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and legal expertise to help you navigate the claims process. If you or someone you care about was hurt at work, we are here to help. Contact us today for your no cost, no obligation initial legal consultation. We advocate for the rights of injured workers throughout Washington County, including in Barre, Montpelier, Cabot, Northfield, East Montpelier, Waterbury, and Middlesex.
“Immediately after my son’s injury at work, he was treated poorly. Over the course of the next few days it became even worse, so I called Mike and he and Crystal have been absolute lifesavers during the process. Mike is not your typical stuffed suit lawyer who only cares about the bottom line he genuinely cares about his clients and his assistant Crystal is beyond amazing! My thanks to you both!”
“Immediately after my son’s injury at work, he was treated poorly. Over the course of the next few days it became even worse, so I called Mike and he and Crystal have been absolute lifesavers during the process. Mike is not your typical stuffed suit lawyer who only cares about the bottom line he genuinely cares about his clients and his assistant Crystal is beyond amazing! My thanks to you both!”LUKE PARMENTER
“I could never ask for a better attorney, to fight for me, to believe in me, and have faith in me, than what I found in Mike Sabbeth, He doesn’t treat you like a client, he treats you as if you are one of his own family members, He will fight for you, with all he has, and is ALWAYS up front and honest with you about everything!”SANDRA DRUGE