Many claims for workers compensation benefits are made because the company did not follow the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. The accident could have happened because the employee was not using correct safety gear, the equipment was not maintained properly, or general hazards like torn carpeting on a stairway had not been repaired. Employers and insurers are generally expected to approve claims for Workers Compensation in Vermont for any of these reasons.
If the situation is not an emergency, the employees are commonly sent for medical treatment to a practitioner the insurer has approved. For example, the employee may benefit from physical therapy, and the insurer will recommend a therapist to see. The individual is also free to seek treatment from other practitioners, such as chiropractors or massage therapists. However, those options generally will not be covered by benefits.
Why a Claim Might Be Disputed
Sometimes, an insurer providing benefits for Workers Compensation in Vermont, or the employer, disputes the claim for one reason or another. If the employee tripped and fell on a stairway with torn carpeting, the person may be viewed as partly to blame. For example, this person may have been jogging down the stairs instead of walking carefully. The person might not have been holding a handrail because he or she was carrying a stack of folders.
An attorney with a firm such as McVeigh Skiff LLP can represent the individual at a hearing if this seems advisable. Typically, representatives in charge of making these decisions side with the employee in this type of case. The employer is expected to keep the building safe for everyone, including employees and visitors.
Also, employees usually can expect to receive benefits even if they fell on a stairway that is considered to be in safe condition. It doesn’t typically matter whether the person was jogging down the stairs or not using a handrail. An injury in the workplace should be covered unless the employee was doing something hazardous and prohibited, like coming to work intoxicated or roughhousing on the job site.