Bad Worker’s Compensation Reforms

You might have heard the recent series which was  broadcast on National Public Radio and published by Pro Publica about the many recent changes in state workers’ compensation laws that have reduced benefits to claimants. We are pleased that the Vermont legislature has generally protected workers’ interests in the Vermont Workers’ Compensation Act.

Nationally, however, many states have reduced benefits or introduced procedures that are hostile to injured workers.

The article explains that over the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year.

The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injured workers will plummet into poverty. Workers often battle insurance companies for years to get the surgeries, prescriptions and basic help their doctors recommend.

The changes, often passed under the banner of “reform,” have been pushed by big businesses and insurance companies on the false premise that costs are out of control. (more…)

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FAQ: Can I Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits Even Though My Employer Did Not Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Vermont Law requires that all employers provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees injured on the job.  Unfortunately, some employers fail to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.  If that has happened to you, you should speak to a Vermont workers’ compensation lawyer.

Vermont law recognizes the concept of a “statutory employer.”  Injured workers can obtain workers’ compensation benefits from a statutory employer when their own employer fails to provider workers’ compensation benefits.

We see this most commonly in construction accident cases.  We have represented injured workers who were not covered by workers’ compensation because their own employer considered them to be independent contractors.  This misclassification of workers may violate the law. (more…)

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