Boynton, Waldron, Doleac, Woodman & Scott, P.A.
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Workers' compensation denial reversed by New Hampshire court

Workers' compensation has been a guarantee to ease the minds of employees, especially in dangerous jobs, for more than a century. New Hampshire's citizens have learned to expect fair coverage of work-related health problems, and employers enjoy lower costs and insurance rates for workers' compensation than recent history. But the system is not perfect and some workers must fight for their rights.

A home health aide in the Laconia area faced a problem with an injury claim related to a slip and fall on a private premises. One of the woman's duties at a Gilford client's house was garbage removal, which brought her into the garage on occasion. She tripped on the step between the garage and the house, falling and breaking her hand.

The employing agency denied workers' compensation benefits, stating that the worker's employment was not causally connected to the injury. The appeal argued that her need to use stairs more than a member of the general public or a person not employed in this job constituted a risk that was contributed to by employment.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled the denial to be unjust, based on the argument of "increased risk" to which the aide was exposed by the need to use the steps where she was injured. As a result, the employee is entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Workers denied compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses have the right to press their case against employers and their insurers. An attorney can help judge the specifics of an injury and recommend the best way forward to a successful claim.

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