Suffering an injury at work can be a shocking experience. In addition to the injury itself, which may leave you in pain, with high medical bills, and partially or permanent disabled, the fact that the accident occurred at work can create a host of questions about what steps to take next, who pays for your injury, and whether you’ll be able to recover any other compensation.
For most workers in the state of Connecticut, workers’ compensation benefits are in place to provide medical coverage and some wage replacement benefits if an injury occurs. Our lawyers at The Upton Law Firm, LLC can help you file a workers’ compensation claim following a workplace injury, and will work hard to improve your chances of recovering your full compensation amount.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault insurance system that most employers are required to carry in Connecticut. Under this insurance system, workers who suffer an injury while performing a work-related task may seek compensation for their injuries without having to establish fault, or worry about being barred from recovery if they contributed to their accident. In exchange for no-fault benefits, employees are barred from filing lawsuits against employers to recover compensation.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available
There are two primary types of benefits available for injured workers: medical benefits and wage replacement benefits. A worker is entitled to the full extent of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses, including coverage for hospital stays, doctors’ visits, surgeries, medication, therapy and rehabilitation, and more.
Wage replacement benefits are slightly different, and are paid neither automatically nor in full. Wage replacement benefits include:
- Temporary total disability.If a person is totally disabled, they can recover 75 percent of their average weekly wage prior to the incident up to the maximum benefit amount. This benefit is paid for up to 52 weeks.
- Temporary partial disability. If a worker is only partially disabled, they can perform some type of work, if not the work they were performing prior to the incident. As such, a worker will be able to recover 75 percent of the difference between the amount they are currently earning and the amount they would be earning had the accident not occurred (their prior wage).
- Permanent partial disability. If a disability is permanent and partial, the rate at which the employee will be compensated is dependent upon the specific body part that was injured. For example, a person who suffers a loss of arm/loss of use of arm will be compensated for a total of 208 weeks, whereas the loss of (use of) a thumb is compensated for 63 weeks on the “master” hand, or hand of primary use.
Other benefits that may be available in a workers’ compensation case include discretionary benefits, job retraining benefits, and relapse or recurrence benefits.
Initiating a Workers’ Compensation Case
It is important that if you are injured on the job you understand your right to participate in the workers’ compensation system and seek compensation for your injuries. However, if you do not report your injury to your employer or otherwise initiate the workers’ compensation claims process, you risk forfeiting this right. Important steps to take immediately following a workplace injury include:
- Report the injury to your employer. You should always report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you delay in reporting your injury, your claim may be disputed.
- Ensure a First Report of Injury Form is filed. After you notify your employer of your injury, they are responsible for filing a First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness within seven days of being notified of your injury. However, keep in mind that while this is your employer’s responsibility, it is yourresponsibility to ensure that your claim is underway.
- File an official claim. Notifying your employer of your injury is a great first step to take. However, you should be sure to file an official written notice of claim – Form A 30C – as soon as possible as well. This will put your claim on record. The statute of limitations for filing a claim is one year from the date of your injury; filing your claim as soon as you can be recommended.
- Get medical attention. If you are involved in an accident that warrants emergency medical care, do not wait to get your employer’s approval to go to the emergency room. If you are harmed in a manner that does notrequire emergency care but does warrant medical care, be sure to seek medical attention promptly. Your employer should have a designated physician available for your initial medical treatment. After initial medical treatment, you can choose your physician.
My Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied – Now What?
Even if you follow all the steps above and are truly in need of benefits, there is no guarantee that your claim for workers’ compensation benefits will be approved, or that you will be offered the benefits amount that you deserve. If your case is disputed, you can request an informal hearing. Most cases are settled in informal hearings.
If your dispute is not resolved in an informal hearing, a formal hearing may be requested. If this too does not yield the resolution you’re looking for, another level of appeal to the Compensation Review Board is possible. Our legal team can assist you in understanding your right to appeal and how to win your workers’ compensation case.
Call Our Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
You deserve to be compensated for your harm when you’re injured while doing your job. At the law offices of The Upton Law Firm, LLC, we have experience representing workers like you in their claims for benefits, and know how to competently and efficiently navigate the workers’ compensation system. If you’ve been harmed at work, don’t hesitate to call our legal team for a free case consultation. We always work on a contingency fee basis, and won’t collect a fee if you don’t get paid.
Please call our law office today at 860-893-0558, or send us a message by filling out the short form on our website. You are also welcoming to visit us in person in our West Hartford office.
Workers’ Compensation is a mandatory insurance program which provides compensation to employees who suffer job- related injuries and illness. With the rapid growth of industrialization in the early twentieth century, workplace injuries became more frequent and the dangers became more apparent, leading to such mandatory norms. At The Upton Law Firm, we concentrate on managing the problems and issues that arise with workplace injuries.
In addition to workers’ compensation claims, our attorneys provide counsel on issues other employment related issues involving affirmative action, occupational safety and health requirements, as well as Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, and wrongful discharge cases.