NOTE ON PANDEMIC CIRCUMSTANCES: The Law Office of Charles L. Powell, PLLC is in compliance with VT Governor Scott’s “Stay Home / Stay Safe” Executive Order March 24, 2020. The firm remains fully operational and open for business representing Vermont’s injured workers. In addition, I now offer instant video conferencing communications with current clients as well as video conferencing for new and prospective clients.

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My workers’ compensation disability clients may need to know their consumer protection rights during this risky time of pandemic. Here is a link to learn more: http://www.consumer.law/

Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Advocate For The Injured

After a workplace injury, you may experience more than pain, and more than lost income. You may encounter a blizzard of paper, forms, signature requests, and very important decisions to make. You are dealing with health care providers, your employer, and the insurance claims adjuster. You’re the only one who is not familiar with workers’ compensation, and there is no time to learn your rights and your choices in order to make the best choices. Trying not to make mistakes while you are trying to recover from a painful injury can be overwhelming.

At the Law Office of Charles L. Powell PLLC, I, Vermont Workers' Compensation Attorney Charles "Chip" Powell, has leveled the playing field and maximized benefits for the medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other benefits that are provided under the law for injured employees. If you or a loved one are having a hard time dealing with a workplace injury, then I am ready to hear your story.

Some reasons why so many injured workers have trusted my firm:

  • I have more than 35 years of litigation experience
  • I am a published author in the area of workers' comp law
  • I have represented hundreds of injured workers throughout Vermont
  • I have fought against some of the largest employers and insurance companies

Call my office at (802) 731-0154 today to learn what treatment and compensation you are legally eligible to receive. You do not have to face the many obstacles to recovery alone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workers Compensation

If you or a loved one has been hurt at work, it's normal to have questions about what your options are, what you're eligible to receive, and how to receive the benefits you need. Below, I have provided answers to some of the most common questions workers' compensation claimants face.

What is Vermont's Workers' Compensation Statute?

In Vermont, all employers who hire full and/or part-time employees are generally required to provide workers' compensation coverage. Those employers that do not provide workers' compensation insurance in violation of labor laws can be subject to penalties and can be sued.

Are Independent Contractors Covered by Workers' Comp?

In many cases, yes. Vermont provides broad definitions of who must be covered under an employer's workers' compensation insurance. If there is a dispute, a "Right to Control" test and a “Nature of the Business” test are usually used to determine the nature of the employer/contractor relationship. In many cases, the employer is acting as a boss in these arrangements, which can help substantiate a contractor's eligibility for coverage.

What Types of Workers' Comp Benefits Can I Receive?

Workers’ compensation provides injured workers in Vermont with various types of benefits, including:

  • Up to two-thirds of your gross weekly wages while temporarily disabled
  • Medical expense benefits
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Transportation reimbursement
  • Permanent disability benefits

In situations where a worker passes away due to a work-related injury or illness, the worker’s family may receive death benefits to cover final expenses and funeral costs. Since benefits may vary on a case- by-case basis, it is important to consult with an attorney to get a more accurate representation of your eligible compensation.

What if My Employer Retaliates When I File for Workers' Comp?

It's every full and part-time employee's right to have access to workers' compensation coverage, regardless of whether your employer wants you to file a claim or not. When a work accident occurs, coverage should be provided. If your employer has tried to convince you not to file or has retaliated against you for filing, they are in the wrong.

Why Was My Workers' Comp Claim Denied?

There are numerous reasons why insurers deny workers' comp claims. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons: either the claim was not properly submitted or the injury itself does not warrant coverage.

Far more often, however, denials are the result of the insurer trying to protect its bottom line. Insurers might attempt to minimize the injury event, or allege “pre-existing” conditions, or attack the employee’s credibility, or promote other reasons to deny the claim outright. In these cases, it may be necessary to retain legal counsel right away in order to recover the benefits you need.

What Is an Independent Medical Examination?

An independent medical examination (IME) is a medical examination that will be set up by your employer's insurer to evaluate your health and the effects of your injury. The findings will help the insurer decide what it wants to do with your claim and how much compensation the insurer wants to allow. But, remember, this is not your doctor.

Do I Have to See a Workers' Comp Doctor?

You can. While you are required to attend the insurer’s independent medical examination, you and your doctor don’t have any obligation to agree with the opinions of the insurer’s doctor. Your attorney can help you to object to incorrect and inappropriate opinions by the insurer’s doctor.

What Should I Do if My Workers' Comp Claim Was Denied?

If your claim has been denied, or you have received less than full acceptance of coverage for your injuries, then it is time to consult with an experienced Vermont workers' compensation lawyer. At the Law Office of Charles L. Powell PLLC, I have extensive legal experience in workers’ compensation and have published the Injured Workers’ Guide to Vermont Workers’ Compensation. I know the remedies available and the process to pursue proper coverage when insurance companies fail to honor the rights of injured workers.

What Should I Do if My Employer Refuses to File My Workers' Comp Claim?

Employers are required by law to file workers’ compensation claims with the Vermont Department of Labor. Failure to do so can result in the employer having to face legal consequences. If you believe that your employer has failed to submit your claim, even though it was reported by you, you can always reach out directly to the Vermont Department of Labor’s Workers’ Compensation Division at (802) 828-2286 to find out. If you confirm that your claim has not been submitted, you can still file a claim form on your own. It is called a Form 5 and is available on the Department website. A Vermont Department of Labor Specialist can help walk you through the process.

What If I Am Getting Harassed for Being On Workers’ Comp?

State law protects employees from being harassed or wrongfully terminated simply because they are receiving workers’ compensation. It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against a worker on account of a workers’ compensation case. The law can be read here. If your employer has threatened to fire you or has been bullying you because you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may have grounds for legal action. The Vermont Attorney General’s office is empowered to investigate workers’ compensation discrimination and retaliation by employers.

Clients Share Their Experience

  • “Chip took a great deal of time getting to know the circumstances of my injury and how it has affected my life.”

    Laura Samson

  • “hey worked with my doctors and understood the medical reports, which was particularly helpful.”

    Christopher Luce

  • “Chip and his staff were there for me.”

    Joseph Scroggins

  • “I'm in such a better place now-thanks to you and your staff. Your staff are so wonderful, a joy to work with, just really GREAT PEOPLE!!”

    Tammy Kemp

  • “He is an honest, hardworking person that stands up for the worker.”

    Kathleen Gurney

  • “Get the best lawyer, Charles Powell”

    Scott Knowlton

  • “Having represented insurance companies in the early part of his career and now working for the injured, Attorney Powell’s experience and knowledge of the worker’s compensation program is remarkable.”

    Randy and Jan Clark

  • “You're a great man! And I owe you and your staff many thanks!”

    James and Lynn Girouard

  • “Chip is an excellent lawyer that will pursue justice for those that are injured and need help.”

    Mike M.

  • “Through you I was able to attain justice in my case, something that in itself is a rarity nowadays.”

    James M. Henry

  • “His kindness, compassion and understanding of my struggles helped me through some difficult times.”

    Nola Corbeil

  • “If your looking for a lawyer that truly has your best interest at heart he's the guy look no further.”

    Vanessa

  • “On a scale of 1 - 10, I would rate his services as a 12. Whenever I had any issues with the insurance company, he dealt with these problems immediately.”

    James Patterson

  • “Attorney Powell made us feel he would be there for us. He was with us to the end.”

    Diana Farnham

  • “Charles "Chip" Powell was there to help and fight the good fight the whole way.”

    Matthew Joe W.

Experienced Attorney You Can Trust

Unlike other firms that offer workers’ compensation as part of a general law practice, the Law Office of Charles L. Powell PLLC takes an incisive approach by concentrating on workers’ compensation as its practice area. As a result of my focus on representing hundreds of injured workers, I have extensive experience dealing with many different employers, workplace injuries, healthcare providers, expert witnesses, and insurers in a wide range of workers’ compensation matters. I can put my many years of experience and contacts to work for you. I have also published the definitive book on the rights of injured workers: The Injured Workers’ Guide to Vermont Workers’ Compensation. This book is for sale on Amazon, but I will send you a free copy in my role as a trusted resource for workers all over Vermont who need to know their rights.

Consult about your claim with me, a proven Vermont workers' compensation lawyer. Fill out the online contact form today to request a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Professional Associations

  • VT Association of Justice
  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Vermont Bar Association
  • WILG
  • American Association of Justice

Put My Experience to Work for You

  • Personalized Attention

    Your personal view matters. Your goals are respected.

  • Advocating for Clients

    Over 35 years of injury litigation experience.

  • Focused in Workers' Comp

    Representing workers throughout the Vermont.

  • Published Author

    Wrote the “Injured Workers’ Guide to Vermont Workers’ Compensation”.

  • Fighting Employers

    Fighting against employers including: Wal-Mart, USA, State of Vermont, General Electric, Consolidated Communications, and UPS.

  • Fighting Insurance Companies

    Fighting against insurers including: Travelers Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Hartford Insurance, AmTrust, MEMIC, Acadia / BerkleyNet, Sedgwick, and others.

Contact Us Today!

How to Reach Us 802.731.0154 3533 Woodstock Road
White River Junction, VT 05001 Map & Directions [+]
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Excerpts From My Book

Injured Employee’s Guide to Vermont Workers’ Compensation
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