Rhode Island General Laws Title 28 covers labor and labor relations. Section 29 of this Title provides the laws that govern workmans’ compensation. This is a type of insurance program that covers medical bills and lost wages for employees who suffer a work-related injury. This program includes a workplace injury in the cost of doing business, which prevents taxpayers from paying more in public assistance. In Rhode Island, a job related injury is defined as a “personal injury to an employee arising out of and in the course of his or her employment” (i). These employment injuries are often caused by chemicals, construction, lifting, overexertion, repetitive motion, and slip and fall accidents. Sometimes an injured worker will apply for benefits but be denied coverage. In this case, the worker should talk to a RI Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can appeal of the denial. No legal fees are charged for these types of cases until the attorney is successful in getting his or her client a lump sum settlement and/or structured payment.
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. On July 6, 2006, the Providence Journal reported that the owners of The Station nightclub, Michael and Jeff Derderian, are now facing a $1 million penalty for failing to carry worker’ comp coverage for their employees. The Station nightclub burned down in 2003 killing 100 people, including four employees, and injuring more than 200 people. The Derderian brothers have been successful in delaying the payment of this penalty for the past nine years and they now claim it is “excessive.” The penalty equates to $1,000 for every day that they operated the nightclub without workmans’ compensation and it is the maximum penalty allowed by law. If the brothers had carried the appropriate coverage it would have only cost them about $1,900 per year (ii).
Attorney Paul d’Oliveira stated, “Rhode Islanders should understand that workers’ compensation only requires an injury. It does not require employees to show that their employer was negligent or at fault. This is a great system because workers can receive the money they need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation. Sometimes employees are denied the benefits they deserve but an experienced lawyer can help deserving claimants put together a strong case.”
d’Oliveira & Associates has been helping RI residents with their legal needs for over 24 years. Their lawyers are experienced in this area and they work with some of the more experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in the state. To contact the firm call 1-800-922-6878 or fill out a contact form online.
- (i) Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Laws.
- (ii) Providence Journal, July 6, 2013.