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New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Laws

Whether you work in a Manchester high-rise, a charming Portsmouth inn, or a North Conway ski resort, most New Hampshirites spend the majority of their adult lives at work. This leaves ample opportunity for work-related injuries and illnesses. For this reason, New Hampshire requires employers to carry workers' compensation insurance, which covers employees for their work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of fault. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up their right to file a lawsuit against the employer. If you've sustained a work-related injury or illness in New Hampshire, you should know your rights and responsibilities for filing a workers' compensation claim.

The following table lists important aspects of New Hampshire's workers' comp laws, including benefits and crucial deadlines.

Important Deadlines
Some Types of Benefits
  • Medical benefits: all reasonable and necessary medical expenses from authorized providers (Sec. 281-A:23 et seq.)
  • Temporary partial disability: to compensate for temporary inability to work at full capacity; paid at 60% of your average weekly wage (Sec. 281-A:31)
  • Permanent total disability: payment where employee is unable to engage in gainful employment (Sec. 281-A:28-a)
  • Vocational rehabilitation: training and counseling services for injured workers unable to return to type of work for which they have training or experience (Sec. 281-A:25)
  • Death benefits: payments to surviving dependent(s) and up to $10,000 in funeral expenses if employee dies from work-related injury or illness (Sec. 281-A:26 )
Employer Rights & Obligations
  • Employers required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance for all employees, with limited exceptions (Sec. 281-A:5, Sec. 281-A:2, Sec. 281-A:7);
  • Employer/insurer must report injury to the labor commissioner within 5 days (Sec. 281-A:53)
  • Employer may require employee to choose among a list of approved medical providers; may require employee submit to medical examination upon request (Sec. 281-A:38)

Who and What is Covered by Workers' Compensation?

Every New Hampshire employer with full or part-time employees must have workers' comp insurance, though there are a few exceptions, including independent contractors and sole proprietors. And while injuries are covered regardless of fault, compensation may be barred or reduced if the injury was the result of the employee's intoxication or willful misconduct.

I'm Hurt: Now What?

After an accident, you should seek medical attention for your injuries and notify your employer. If you fail to inform your employer within two years, or to file a claim for benefits within three years, you risk losing your right to benefits altogether. Once you've sent notice to your employer, they or the insurance company must file a report with the labor commissioner within five days. And in terms of medical care, you may choose your own doctor, but if the insurer has a "managed care" plan you must choose from a list of approved doctors.

What if My Claim Is Denied or Challenged?

If your claim is denied or you have a dispute with the insurance company, you have options, including the following:

  • Try to resolve any issues directly with the insurance company; or
  • Request a hearing with the Department of Labor within 18 months from the date of the denial

You may represent yourself throughout this process, but many claimants choose to have an attorney help in meeting deadlines, preparing documents, and representing you against the insurance company's attorneys.

Get Legal Help to Understand How New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Laws Apply to You

Unfortunately, workers' compensation hearings and procedures can be complicated and time-consuming, adding to the pain of your injury. If you don't follow the rules, your benefits could be reduced or barred altogether. Learn more about these requirements and your potential benefits by speaking to a local personal injury attorney who has experience with New Hampshire's workers' compensation laws.

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