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Rice Law Office Blog

This blog reviews important legal issues including: personal injury, employee compensation, workers compensation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

Department of Labor Workplace Injury FAQ Part Two


From the New Hampshire Department of Labor official website.

How long is my claim open? 

Medical bills related to your injury remain the responsibility of the carrier as long as treatment is required. There are certain time limits for indemnity benefits depending on the circumstances of the case. See RSA 281-A:31.

How soon does Workers' Compensation start?

Workers' Compensation starts on the fourth day of disability (subject to a three day period). The waiting period is waived if the disability continues for 14 days or longer or if an employee returns to temporary alternative employment within five days.

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Department of Labor Workplace Injury FAQ Part One


From the New Hampshire Department of Labor official website.

Who pays for my prescriptions?

The insurance carrier will reimburse you for any prescriptions relating to your injury. They have 30 days from receipt of the request.

Can I see my own doctor?

This depends on whether or not your carrier is using a managed care program. If they are, you must choose a doctor within the network. If you are not subject to managed care, the choice is yours.

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What Damages Am I Entitled to Recover if I’m Injured in a Car Accident?

If you were injured in an automobile accident which was not your fault, you may be entitled to payment for your medical bills, damage to your vehicle, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent injuries, and for other expenses incurred as a result of your injury. But that's only half the story. Usually, victims of car accidents leading to serious physical injuries also have significant lost time from work that puts wages, benefits, and job security at risk.

If you've been seriously injured in an automobile accident which results in lost time from work, medical bills, or lasting injury, you will want to immediately consult with an attorney who is experienced in BOTH injury and employment law to ensure you get the most protection available. An experienced injury/employment attorney will consider all the resources available to address your injury, but also to help you with your loss of income during the healing process. 

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OSHA Reporting Requirements Update

OSHA Reporting Requirements Update

Beginning on January 1, 2015 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted new reporting requirements for employers under OSHA jurisdiction.  Employers are now required to report any work related fatality or injury resulting admittance to a hospital, amputation, or loss of an eye.

OSHA has received between 200 and 250 injury reports each week since the new requirements came into place.  At this rate, we can expect between 10,000 and 13,000 total reports in 2015.

OSHA has indicated that about 40 percent of these reported incidents result in on site inspections.  In 10 percent of all cases no action is taken, and in the remainder OSHA requested a letter from the employer detailing specifics of the incident and corrective actions taken.

 Not all states have implemented the new reporting requirements. If you have been hurt at work, resulting in hospitalization or time out of work, it is important to seek help from an attorney who will provide you with a free consultation and explain your rights and protections.

Image courtesy of Compliance and Safety under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Linking Mental Health and Workers' Compensation

Linking Mental Health and Workers' Compensation

There is growing recognition that mental health plays a large role in workers’ compensation, and that care extending to mental health can help people return to work more quickly. Mental health issues account for nearly a third of all new disability claims in Western countries, and are the leading cause of disability in high-income countries. 

A majority of workers pursuing a workers’ compensation claim will experience depressive symptoms within a year after their injury.  An injury that prevents an employee from going back to work also impacts their family—an injured worker’s family members are three times more likely to be hospitalized in the three months following the work injury.

There are things that you and your employer can do to reduce the risk of a mental health extending your disability.  First, its important to acknowledge that mental health is an important part of the recovery process following a work injury. There should be no stigma for workers seeking treatment if they are suffering from a mental health condition.

Employers can put in place screening processes to identify cases in which an injured worker faces an increased likelihood of a mental health condition, and facilitate access to clinical treatment.  As we understand the impact of mental health care in recovering from a work place injury there is an opportunity to improve the care injured workers receive.

If you have any questions regarding a work related injury that you have suffered you should contact an attorney to understand your rights and protections.  Rice Law Office offers free consultations-- give us a call.

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I Just Got Hurt at Work: What Do I Need to Know?

I Just Got Hurt at Work: What Do I Need to Know?

From New Hampshire Department of Labor Frequently Asked Questions

Can I see my own doctor? 

This depends on whether or not your carrier is using a managed care program. If they are, you must choose a doctor within the network. If you are not subject to managed care, the choice is yours.

Can my employer fire me?

It depends on your case and circumstances. New Hampshire has various laws which may provide job protection for employees based upon injury, illness or disability. If your employer has 5 or more employees they may be required to reinstate you if you are released by your treating physician within 18 months of the date of injury. See RSA 281-A:25-a or New Hampshire Administrative Rule Chapter Lab 504.05 Reinstatement of Employee Sustaining Compensable Injuries.

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Is Your Former Spouse Entitled to a Portion of Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement?

Is Your Former Spouse Entitled to a Portion of Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement?

If you’ve been injured on the job, and especially in cases where there is some level of permanent impairment that limits your ability to work, you need to rely on your workers’ compensation to make ends meet. This compensation is so personal in nature that generally, creditors cannot seek a claim against it as they would a typical asset.

Only claims for medical bills and legal fees associated with the compensated injury may be made against workers’ compensation settlements in New Hampshire. There is another significant exception, however.

Since workers’ compensation is meant to be a safeguard for injured employees AND their dependents, spouses and dependent children are viewed as different from normal creditors in the eyes of the law. Claims for child support, therefore, may be enforced against workers’ compensation awards.

Even following a divorce, your former spouse may have a right to claim some portion of your workers’ compensation. It’s critical that you let your workers’ compensation attorney know from the outset if you might have any debts or obligations related to a divorce and or child support. The more your attorney knows, the more capable she will be in helping you to obtain and keep your benefits.

Image courtesy of Compliance and Safety under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Social Security Benefits and Workers’ Compensation at the Same Time?

Yes, it is possible to be eligible for both workers’ compensation and social security disability benefits. In fact, you may also be entitled to other disability benefits for injuries you’ve suffered at work or in an accident. Injured employees may be eligible for compensation through private disability insurance and/or through employer pension or state retirement disability plans.

Each of these benefit plans may have different eligibility requirements and some of them may take offsets (deductions) if you are receiving benefits under another plan at the same time. Rice Law Office can help with this. Our focus on employment law includes representation in social security, personal injury, workers’ compensation, discrimination and termination cases. Often, employees who are injured at work or elsewhere, become disabled and risk losing their job. The laws which govern these cases can be complicated and it is important to carefully consider your options before ruling out or ruling in any type of claim. The toughest thing about these cases is you don’t know what you don’t know until it is too late and it’s important to call an experienced employment attorney early before your options have been limited by time or lack of information.

At Rice Law office we lend you our experience to even the playing field. With our help, you can take advantage of the benefits you have paid for and earned over the years when you need it the most.

If your hurt, you need to focus on getting better, let us take care of the rest. Call Rice Law Office at 524-5426

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