Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New Hampshire
Recovery Takes Time. We Can Help.
Injuries at work happen frequently. Make sure you get the necessary medical care and report the injury promptly to your employer. Following a work injury, you now have medical care, mounting bills, and lost wages. You owe it to yourself and your family to get the workers’ compensation payments you need while you recover from your injuries. Our New Hampshire workers’ compensation lawyers at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. will aggressively protect your rights with the insurance company and at the NH Department of Labor.
Insurance companies have teams of adjusters and lawyers working for them. Don’t be at the mercy of the insurance companies. Many people ask, “Do I need a lawyer?” You want someone with experience and a proven track record.
How We Help
At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., our loyalty is simple — we only represent employees, not employers. We make this distinction so it’s clear to everyone where our workers’ compensation lawyers stand. We fight for injured employees. After a work-related injury, you need to focus on recovering so we’ll focus on your case.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers include a former state Supreme Court and Superior Court Judge. He actually wrote the New Hampshire Evidence Manual which is used by judges and lawyers across the state regarding evidence cases.
Our Workers’ Compensation Services
Once we are involved, the New Hampshire workers’ compensation lawyers at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. take immediate action. We handle all communications with the insurance company. We investigate the facts of your accident and put together the best legal strategy. This may involve interviewing witnesses, consulting experts, or preserving other helpful evidence.
We regularly appear before the New Hampshire Department of Labor and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to get employees their benefits.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys represent injured workers with all aspects of claims, including:
- Weekly Indemnity Benefits: An injured employee is entitled to a weekly payment (tax-free) equal to 60% of your average weekly wage.
- Payment of Medical Bills: The insurance company is obligated to pay the cost of medical, hospital, and remedial care related to a work injury. This might include payment for such medical services as hospital and surgical services, doctor visits, physical therapy, prescriptions, and other medical expenses which are necessary because of your injury.
- Partial Disability Benefits: Temporary partial benefits are paid to an injured employee if they are capable of returning to work and cannot earn what they were earning prior to their injury. A partially disabled employee is entitled to a certain percentage of the difference between your prior average weekly wage and what you are able to earn currently.
- Permanent Impairment Awards: If an injury has caused a permanent loss of function to certain body parts, you may be eligible for a permanent impairment award. The amount of compensation is based on the percentage of permanent loss to a compensable body part and the amount of your average weekly wage.
- Reinstatement of Employees: Under certain circumstances, an employer is obligated to provide the injured employee’s position within 18 months.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: You may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation assistance if you are unable to return to your prior employment or the kind of work for which you have training or experience. This involves a vocational rehabilitation counselor to assist locating and applying for suitable jobs.
- Appeal Workers’ Compensation Denial: If the workers’ compensation carrier denies your claim or if your claim is denied after a hearing at the Department of Labor, do not give up. You can request a hearing in order to dispute the insurance company’s denial of your claim or get a hearing before the Compensation Appeals Board.
Q:How long do I have to file a notice of injury?
A:You should file as soon as possible because an injured worker has two years from the date of injury to notify the employer of their injury in order to make a claim for benefits.
Q:What is the time limitation for filing a claim?
A:A claim for disability, rehabilitation, medical benefits, or death benefits are barred unless a claim for these benefits is filed within three years after the date of injury.
Q:The insurance company denied my claim. How long do I have?
A:Within eighteen months of receiving notice that your claim has been denied by the carrier for disability, rehabilitation, medical benefits, or death benefits, you can petition the Department of Labor for a hearing; otherwise, it will be barred.
Q:How is my workers’ compensation rate determined?
A:Weekly compensation is based on sixty percent of your average weekly wage. To determine your average weekly wage, the gross wages are added together for twenty-six weeks up to fifty-two weeks before the injury, and then divided by the number of weeks.
Q:Who pays for my prescriptions?
A:The workers’ compensation insurance carrier will reimburse you for any prescriptions that are related to your injury. The insurance carrier has thirty days from receipt of the request to reimburse you.
Q:What type of light duty can my employer offer me?
A:A position offered to you under “light duty” must be meaningful employment that complies with any restrictions set by your doctor.
Q:If I return to light duty can my employer reduce my rate of pay?
A:Yes, but the reduction in your pay may entitle you to receive a partial benefit from the insurance carrier in addition to your reduced wages.
Q:How long is my claim for medical bills open?
A:Medical bills related to your injury remain the responsibility of the insurance carrier as long as the treatment is required.
Q:Do I have to pay taxes on my workers’ compensation benefits?
A:No, but you may be required to report the benefits you have received.
Q:What is workers’ compensation?
A:Under New Hampshire law, workers’ compensation is an insurance program paid for by an employer that pays medical and disability benefits for work-related injuries and diseases. If an employee is injured on the job, that employee’s medical treatment will be paid for; if disabled following an on-the-job injury, that employee will also receive weekly income in the form of indemnity benefits until able to return to work. All employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. Each employee has the right to benefits if injured on the job.
Q:What is an independent medical examination?
A:An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is an appointment to be examined by a doctor hired by the insurance company. An injured worker needs to submit to an IME if it is scheduled by the insurance carrier because failure to agree to the IME can result in suspension or termination of your benefits.
Q:Can the insurance just stop paying my benefits?
A:If benefits have been paid for more than twenty-one days, the insurance carrier cannot just stop paying your benefits. In order to stop paying your benefits, the insurance carrier would need to get the Department of Labor’s permission before it can terminate such benefits.
Q:I submitted a claim. How long does the insurance company have to accept or deny it?
A:If it is determined that your claim is compensable, the insurance carrier has within twenty-one days of notification of the claim or period of disability to make payment of compensation to the injured employee.
Q:What is a death benefit?
A:When an employee dies from an occupational injury or disease, the insurance carrier shall compensate the dependent through weekly benefits as soon as possible after death, but no later than twenty-one days after the dependency has been established.
Q:How do I pay my workers’ compensation lawyer?
A:Under New Hampshire law, your lawyer will be paid by a contingency fee or a percentage of any recovery you may receive such as a permanent impairment award or a lump sum settlement agreement. The payment of your attorney must be approved by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. Under certain circumstances, the insurance company may be ordered to pay your attorney’s fees.