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Workers' compensation is payable for all work-related injuries

When a worker is seriously injured at work, he or she is generally covered by workers' compensation benefits under New Hampshire law and the law of all other states. Under the New Hampshire workers' compensation laws, workers' compensation generally provides the exclusive remedy for the employee to collect benefits. The benefits generally include medical expenses and the costs of rehabilitation. Wage loss benefits are also payable while the employee remains disabled and unable to work as a result of the work-related accident.

In addition, where third parties other than the employer were negligent in causing severe injury or death to the worker, a claim may be made against the third-party wrongdoer for traditional personal injury damages, even if it is a work-related accident. A third-party claim in that situation would compensate the worker or the worker's family for pain and suffering and other damages that would not be available from workers' compensation benefits. That can be a substantial amount in serious and traumatic injuries involving long disabilities.  

There are usually no questions of entitlement to workers' comp benefits when the accident occurred in the course of employment. That is basically why the employee typically cannot sue the employer for traditional tort damages.  In another state recently, a man was seriously injured when steel beams fell on him, crushing his legs and possibly other parts of his body.

When emergency responders arrived on the scene, they found the worker trapped under a beam. He had a fractured leg and damage to his other leg. For the duration of the period that the worker is unable to work, he is entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits, including partial lost wages and all medical expenses. These general principles apply in New Hampshire and all other states.

Source:, "Wilmington worker seriously injured by falling steel beams", April 3, 2017

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