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Charles J. Vucci
As the lead workers’ compensation attorney for Gemma Law Associates, Inc. , Charles J. Vucci understands that many of his clients are hesitant to speak with him at first.
“They think that if they talk to an attorney, it’s going to cost them their jobs,” Charles says. “But the truth is that the law entitles you to compensation if you are harmed at work, and the law strictly prohibits an employer from retaliating against you.”
Once his clients get past that initial hurdle, it doesn’t take long for them to realize they are working with a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Throughout most of his legal career, Charles has been dedicated to helping secure benefits for Rhode Island workers with work-related illnesses and injuries, including benefits that cover medical care, lost wages and temporary and permanent disability.
“People want to make sure they are getting paid when they are out of work,” Charles says. “They need someone to make sure they’re getting their checks, and that they’re getting their medical treatment or reimbursement for their prescriptions. That’s why I’m here – to take those headaches away from them while they are recovering.”
For instance, some medical providers will refuse to examine or treat an injured or ill worker unless they have received authorization from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
“Nothing in Rhode Island workers’ compensation law says that the medical providers need that authorization before they see you,” Charles says. “That’s a disagreement that often happens, and you need an attorney to protect your rights in that situation.”
Charles points out that Gemma Law Associates, Inc. , provides free legal representation to workers’ compensation claimants. If a claim lump sum settles, the firm is entitled to receive an attorney fee from that settlement.
Charles strongly encourages injured workers to receive legal advice and representation.
“The employer is being guided by legal counsel who considers the best interests of their client first – not the interests of the injured worker,” he says.
“Employees have that same right to legal counsel. So, if injured employees don’t exercise that right, they are only receiving information from one source, the employer’s representative, and that information may be right or wrong. They have no way of finding out unless they hire their own attorney.”
Charles believes that his clients deserve a workers’ compensation attorney who will be thorough and straightforward with them about their cases.
“I will tell them what is going to happen, and what they need to do to prepare for it,” he says.
Charles has practiced in the area of workers’ compensation law since becoming a licensed attorney in 1987, including an initial stint as a workers’ compensation defense attorney.
During his career, he has served on the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Bench Bar Committee and as a member of the Rhode Island Association for Justice’s workers’ compensation section.
He is admitted to practice in Rhode Island’s state and federal courts as well as the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
A native of North Providence, Rhode Island, Charles graduated cum laude from Providence College in 1983, where he studied political science. He earned his law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1987.
When he isn’t practicing law, Charles enjoys reading and working outdoors.
Born: North Providence, Rhode Island
Education: Providence College (B.A., cum laude, 1983); Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D., 1987)
Bar Admissions: Rhode Island (1987); U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island (1987); U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit (1989)
Practice Areas: Workers’ Compensation; Personal Injury; Automobile Accidents and Injuries; Slip and Fall; Wrongful Death
Membership: Rhode Island Bar Association; Rhode Island Association for Justice; Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Bench Bar Committee