Our Practice Areas

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The law firm of Winer and Bennett, LLP has been proudly serving Greater Nashua and Massachusetts for 60 years and counting. Winer and Bennett offers its clients legal services in a wide spectrum of practice areas, and it would be our pleasure to assist you with your legal needs.

glasses and pen on workers compensation injury liability form

Workers’ Compensation

Winer and Bennett, LLP is Nashua’s most experienced law firm in matters of workers’ compensation law. A worker who is injured in the course of work is entitled to help. It is not only fair, it is the law of our State. Workers’ compensation attorney Peter Webb has over 30 years of experience representing injured workers. Brenner Webb also handles workers’ compensation matters for injured workers only.

two construction workers on edge of house roof

Workers who suffer work injuries are to receive four basic workers’ compensation benefits: weekly disability benefits to replace 60% of the wages lost, payment of related medical bills, help in returning to work, and an award for permanent loss of function of a part of the body. The reality is that those benefits are often not provided willingly or fully by workers’ compensation insurance companies. Protecting your right to workers’ compensation benefits requires the assistance of someone who has a thorough command of the law and the process. The attorneys at the Nashua law firm of Winer and Bennett, LLP offer that expertise and experience.

The reality is that those benefits are often not provided willingly or fully by workers’ compensation insurance companies.

Having a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side early on can make all the difference. To enable you to afford to protect your rights, our lawyers can be hired on the basis that they are paid only if they are successful. For decades, the Nashua workers’ compensation attorneys at Winer and Bennett, LLP have been fighting on behalf of injured workers at the New Hampshire Department of Labor, the Compensation Appeals Board, the New Hampshire Supreme Court, as well as at the New Hampshire Legislature. They welcome the opportunity to put their experience to work for you.

Different Areas of Workers' Compensation

Payment of Medical Bills from a Work Injury

The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is responsible for an employee’s medical bills, if the bills are reasonable and are related to the care of an injury suffered by the employee in the course of work. That is a simple proposition, but as the workers’ compensation lawyers at Winer and Bennett, LLP, know, in practice it is frequently complicated.

It is not uncommon for the insurance company to hire a physician of their own to review the medical records and to sometimes examine the injured worker. An injured worker is obligated to cooperate with such medical exams no more than twice a year and no more than 50 miles from home. Frequently, the insurance company’s physician will disagree with a treating physician’s recommended care, giving the insurance company grounds to refuse payment. When that happens, the recourse is requesting a hearing at the New Hampshire Department of Labor. A Hearings Officer will hear the testimony, review the medical evidence and decide the issue. Each party has the right to appeal that decision to a 3 member Compensation Appeals Board for a rehearing. That’s important due process, but pending the appeal, medical bills ordered to be paid by the Hearings Officer don’t have to be paid until and unless the same decision is issued in the appeal. The appeal customarily takes 6 months.

Other potential issues relating to medical bills include whether they were for the care of a medical condition caused by work activity, whether the injury resolved and the care is unreasonable, whether more than 18 months passed since the insurance company’s denial (in which case the denial is final), whether the required supporting documentation has been provided by the care provider, whether the care is unreasonable because it was unconventional.

When you’re injured at work, you enter a world where your rights and duties are governed laws, regulations and practices you’re probably not very familiar with. You should have the guidance and advocacy of someone who knows that law. For that legal counsel, call one of Winer and Bennett’s workers’ compensation lawyers at (603) 882-5157.

Permanent Impairment Awards for Injured Workers in New Hampshire

A worker injured in the course of work in New Hampshire may qualify for a permanent impairment award. This is a payment the worker is to receive if the work injury causes a permanent loss of the normal use of certain parts of the body. This isn’t a settlement of the claim. It is the payment of one of the four benefits to which an injured worker is entitled: weekly disability payments, payment of medical bill, assistance in returning to employment, and a permanent impairment award. For calculating the amount of a permanent impairment award, the law assigns different numbers to different parts of the body. An arm, for example, is assigned the number 210. If, in accordance with a required American Medical Association system of measurement, the medical evidence establishes that the worker has lost 20% of the normal use of the arm as result of the work injury, the worker is to be paid 20% of 210, or 42, multiplied by 60% of the worker’s pre-injury gross average weekly wage. Upon approval by the New Hampshire Department of Labor, this award is paid to the worker.

For this award, various conditions have to be met: the injury is agreed or proven to have been from work activity, the impairment is an eligible condition under the law, the injury has healed as much as it’s going to, the loss of use is properly measured by a physician. It should be noted that the fee which a physician will charge for performing a permanent impairment rating is the responsibility of the workers’ compensation insurance company.

Not every injured worker is entitled to a permanent impairment award. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Winer and Bennett, LLP, will make sure that that benefit, and any other benefit you’re due as a result of a work injury, is paid to you. Call them at (603) 882-5157 for a free consultation.

Vocational Rehabilitation for Injured Workers

Vocational rehabilitation is one of the four benefits available to an injured worker under New Hampshire law. What exactly is it? In theory, the law says that, if a worker is injured in the course of work, and if that injury permanently prevents the worker from doing the work he or she used to do, the workers’ compensation insurance company is to provide services to help the worker return to some kind of work which will pay as close as possible to what the worker used to earn. In reality, because the goal of vocational rehabilitation is to return the worker to the pre-injury earning capacity, if a previously heavy duty worker can make the same money in a light duty job, despite a diminished physical capacity, voc rehab services will be little to none. If vocational rehabilitation is deemed appropriate to get the injured worker back to work, and if he or she doesn’t cooperate in good faith, the worker’s benefits can be suspended by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. Assume that the injury causes the worker to have a lower earning capacity. The law is that the voc rehab services which the insurance company has to provide in such a case start at the least extensive necessary to bridge the gap between pre and post injury wages. If your former employer won’t take you back at a different job, it is not uncommon for vocational rehabilitation to take the form of meeting regularly with a counselor who works up a new resume with you and meets with you periodically to oversee your efforts to find a job. In the right case, such as with a young worker earning high wages at a job he or she can’t do because of the injury, the level of vocational rehabilitation services required will be of a more intensive level, potentially requiring training or schooling as the only way to restore the pre-injury earning capacity. Again, the goal is the pre-injury earnings.

Vocational rehabilitation can be the injured worker’s most valuable worker’s comp benefit. There are others times when it’s the quickest way for an injured worker to be jettisoned by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Navigating this process is best done with the benefit of experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. Winer and Bennett’s Nashua workers’ compensation lawyers are available to provide that guidance. Call (603) 882-5157 for an initial no cost consultation.

Weekly Disability Benefits for Injured Workers

If an injury in the course of work causes the injured worker to be physically unable to earn the wages he or she was earning before the injury, New Hampshire workers’ compensation law provides that an injured worker is to be paid weekly disability benefits. If the injured worker’s disability is “total,” which is to say that the worker cannot perform any job, the weekly payments are 60% of the gross average weekly wage the worker was earning in the 26 to 52 weeks before the injury. If the disability is “partial” and the worker can work, but cannot earn as much because of the injury, the weekly payments are 60% of the difference between the pre-injury average weekly wage and what he or she now is able to earn. There is no maximum number of weeks that an injured worker can receive total disability benefits. An injured worker on partial disability is limited to 5 years, including any prior period of total disability.

If there is a dispute on something in this regard, such as whether the injury at issue was from work activity or whether the worker is totally or partially disabled, the New Hampshire Department of Labor will, upon request, hold a hearing at its offices in Concord. They handle the litigation of workers’ compensation cases, not the court system. The medical evidence and witness testimony is presented to a hearings officer, and a decision is made. A hearings officer’s decision can be appealed to a three member panel for a repeat hearing.

The successful management of an injured worker’s claim doesn’t just happen. It is in the workers’ compensation insurance company’s business interest to minimize the cost of a claim. That means administering the claim in a manner to minimize the benefits to the injured worker. Having the guidance of an attorney who knows the law, the process and “the ropes” enables the injured worker to receive the benefits to which he or she is entitled.

If you are injured at work and you want to protect yourself, call (603) 882-5157 today to speak at no cost to one of the workers’ compensation lawyers at Winer and Bennett, LLP.