Workers' Compensation
& Workplace Injuries

Workers' Compensation:

  • Workers' Compensation claims are strictly governed by the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Act. Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, which was created by Rhode Island Legislature to make Workers' Compensation insurance available to employers, underwrites much of the Workers' Compensation insurance in Rhode Island.

  • Generally, an employee injured in the course of his or her employment may only maintain a Workers' Comp claim against the employer; no other claims against the employer are allowed. For example, generally an employee injured at work may not also bring a negligence claim against an employer.

  • An injured employee who loses time from work while recovering from a workplace injury generally collects 66% of his or her average wages, plus medical expenses.

  • If the injury is permanent, a lump-sum payment or "commutation" is paid to resolve the claim for past and future loss wages, although medical expenses may still be paid by the insurance company that provides the Workers' Compensation coverage.

  • Independent contractors are also required to be covered by Workers' Compensation insurance. Generally, employees of an independent contractor that are injured on the job will have a claim against the independent contractor, not the general contractor.

 
 
 

       For informational purposes only. Always consult an attorney to obtain competent legal advice.

 

Construction Site Accidents:

  • Construction site accidents can raise multiple issues of potential legal liability. For example, if the person injured was an employee, a Workers' Compensation claim may be brought. In addition, if the employee was injured due to a defective power tool or machine, or due to the negligence of a party who is not an employee, the injured employee may also have a third-party claim in addition to the Workers' Compensation claim.

  • OSHA may also investigate for violation of federal workplace safety laws.

  • If the person injured at a construction site was not at work when the accident occurred, a negligence claim may be brought against any at-fault party.

Third Party Claims:

  • Although an employee generally may only bring a Workers' Compensation claim against his or her employer, if the employee was injured on the job because of a defective product, such as a malfunctioning machine, the worker may also have a "Third Party Claim" against the manufacturer of the machine or other at-fault party.

  • Another example of a Third Party Claim is when an employee is injured in a motor vehicle accident while working and the other driver was at-fault. The employee may also have a negligence claim against the at-fault driver in addition to his or her Workers' Compensation claim.