New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation FAQs
If you’ve been hurt on the job, workers’ compensation benefits are available to cover your medical bills and help you replace your lost wages while you are out of commission. Suffering an on-the-job injury can be a stressful and confusing time, and many workers may be unsure how to file a claim or what to do if they encounter problems along the way. Below are some of the questions we hear most frequently from workers who are injured on the job and have difficulty navigating the New Hampshire workers’ compensation system. If you have other questions or need legal advice or representation to help you with your claim, call the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC for a free consultation with a team of experienced and dedicated Manchester workers’ compensation attorneys.
Q. How do I know if I am covered by workers’ compensation?
A. Workers’ compensation in New Hampshire is comprehensive. It covers all employees regardless of the size of the company, full-time or part-time, workers employed by family members, for-profit and non-profit businesses, etc. If you are employed anywhere in the state, you are likely covered by workers’ compensation, but if you are in doubt, check with your employer. Some dockworkers and seamen are covered under different workers’ compensation systems, such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Independent contractors who are not employees are not covered under workers’ compensation, but many workers are misclassified as independent contractors when they are really employees. If you are hurt on the job, it is worthwhile to visit with an experienced New Hampshire workers’ compensation lawyer. You may have a workers’ comp claim, a personal injury claim for a third-party’s negligence, or other ways to get help with your medical costs and lost wages. At the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC, we offer a free consultation on your potential claims and only charge a fee if we are successful in recovering benefits or compensation for you.
Q. What benefits does workers’ compensation provide?
A. New Hampshire workers’ compensation provides four categories of benefits for a workplace injury or occupational disease: 1) coverage of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment; 2) weekly disability or indemnity benefits equal to 60% or more of your average weekly wage; 3) permanent impairment benefits if applicable; and 4) vocational services or a vocational specialist if necessary.
Q. Are all injuries covered?
A. The injury must be work-related and occur in the course of employment. This can include accidents which occur while traveling between job sites or running errands to pick up materials, etc. . An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in evaluating the facts of your injury to determine whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.
Q. Can I see my own doctor?
A. In most cases, you can see any doctor of your choosing, and workers’ comp will cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment by that doctor. If you are in a managed care setting, you’ll be required to choose from a list of doctors, but the selection is up to you. You are also entitled to get a second opinion and to have that visit covered by workers’ comp.
Q. The insurance company wants me to get an “independent medical examination.” What is that, and do I have to go?
A. An Independent Medical Exam, or IME, is an examination conducted by a doctor hired by the insurance company to evaluate your injury and how it affects your ability to work. The insurer pays for the exam. An IME is not as independent as the name implies. The doctor works for the insurance company, and the purpose of the exam is not to treat you or give you any medical advice. The purpose of an IME is to give the insurance company evidence they can use at a hearing to deny or terminate benefits. You do have to attend a scheduled IME and can be denied or lose benefits if you fail to show up. At the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC, we recommend that you bring a friend or family member with you to the IME to serve as a witness. A member of our office can attend the IME with you if you like.