Understanding Vermont Workers Compensation Law
Understanding Vermont workers comp law requires a brief review of the state statutes. Workers compensation is governed by the state though it is a national system in that it is required by all 50 states. There are options within each state and a particular employer must decide the best insurance based on the size of the company.
Reporting an Injury
Under Vermont law, an employer is required to file a First Report of Injury within 72 hours (excluding Sundays and holidays) after receiving notice or knowing of an injury because of which an employee loses work time and/or requires medical attention. At the same time, the employer must provide the claimant with a copy. In cases of death, a Report of Fatal Accident must be filed.
An injured employee must give notice of the injury to the employer as soon as possible and must file a claim for compensation within six months after the date of injury (recurrence or aggravation).
When a claim is contested, either party may file a Notice and Application for Hearing. Accompanying the Notice for Hearing should be a short and plain statement of the claim stating the relief sought. Supporting documentation should also be provided when possible. The opposing party shall answer the complaint, stating defenses to each asserted claim, accompanied by copies of relevant evidence, within 21 days from the date the Notice and Application for Hearing is mailed. You have the right to either appear at a contested hearing alone or with counsel.
An expedited formal hearing (within 30 days upon written certification by the requesting party) can be granted if the following are asserted as reason:
- Some financial, medical or other emergency requires immediate resolution;
- The requesting party is fully prepared with all necessary evidence to proceed to immediate hearing;
- The opposing party has had adequate opportunity to obtain needed; and
- At least one informal conference has been held, and despite reasonable good faith efforts by the requesting party, has been proved ineffective in resolving the dispute.
Getting Legal Help
If you need help with your Vermont workers compensation case, an experienced attorney can help you better understand the law and your responsibilities. There are filing time line requirements and other regulations you must abide. An experienced attorney can help you in the event you need to appeal a claim for work related injuries.