The New Hampshire Supreme Court recently published a decision concerning attorney’s fees under New Hampshire Administrative Rules, Lab 207.01, in the matter of Appeal of Katherine Streeter (issued December 13, 2016). The Court held that when an initial determination is made at the Department of labor level on the issue of causation, attorneys are only entitled to fees of “20% of the retroactive indemnity benefits payable out of Continue reading “New Hampshire Supreme Court Publishes Decision Regarding Attorney’s Fees”
Each year thousands of Granite State workers are injured on the job. Many of these injuries are minor and the worker loses no time from work and requires little to no medical attention. A small portion of the reported injuries are more severe, and workers miss time from work and require extensive medical treatment to return to their pre-injury status. The New Hampshire Department of Labor releases a biennial report that contains Continue reading “Injuries in the Granite State”
In Appeal of Northridge Environmental, LLC, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that home care services provided to the injured worker by his non-medically trained spouse qualify as a compensable medical expense under New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation law.
Continue reading “In Appeal of Northridge, NH Supreme Court Affirms That Non-Medically Trained Spousal Home Care Services Can Be a Reimbursable Medical Expense”
On July 6, 2015, Governor Hassan signed into law Senate Bill 133, which makes significant changes to RSA 281-A:24 (Payment for Reasonable Value of Services), the statute that governs the manner in which disputes over the reasonable value of medical services are decided in workers’ compensation claims.
This week the New Hampshire House passed a bill that states that the fees medical providers charge must be “reasonable”. Senate Bill 133 repeals the entirety of RSA 281-A:24, I and replaces it with a requirement that a workers’ compensation carrier pay the “reasonable value of medical services provided under this chapter.” If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the bill would shift the burden of proof to the medical providers to establish that a bill for services is reasonable. This burden shifting is a substantial change from the current text of RSA 281-A:24, I, which currently requires insurance carriers to “show just cause as to why the total amount [of a bill] should not be paid.”
As with most types of litigation, workers’ compensation claims are barred from advancing unless the opposing side – in this case the employer – is given notice of a potential claim. This purpose of this requirement is clear: the other party to litigation needs timely notice to defend against a potential claim.
Many states across the US have created second injury funds to reduce an employers’ exposure should an already injured worker suffer another disability, and New Hampshire is no exception. In New Hampshire, RSA 281-A:55 creates a “Special Fund for Second Injuries.” The trend nationally is to eliminate or restrict these funds, but the SIF is still fully functioning in New Hampshire. The “SIF” or “Fund” allows an employer to recover specific costs spent for an injured worker when that worker has a previously documented pre-existing permanent physical or mental condition.
Brandon Kelly was driving a company truck from a work site in Massachusetts to the company shop in New Hampshire when he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a utility pole, sustaining injuries that later resulted in the amputation of his lower leg. Mr. Kelly applied for workers’ compensation benefits and was denied by the carrier.