If you were injured on the job, or if you became sick as a result of work, you will probably be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a mutually beneficial program that allows workers to be compensated for their injuries without filing a lawsuit against their employer, and it also allows the employer to save money that would be spent defending against costly lawsuit fees.
However, if you do not have workers’ compensation, you will probably have to file a regular personal injury claim against your employer. Regardless of your circumstances, our team is here to advise you on your legal options. Contact our firm’s Connecticut workers’ compensation lawyers today to learn more.
Requirements for Workers’ Compensation
In order to receive workers’ compensation, you must be injured on the job or become sick due to work. You must immediately inform your employer and have a medical examination done by an approved medical provider. You must then file a claim for workers’ compensation. If your employer agrees that your injury or illness is the result of your job, they will pay your claim. If the employer refuses to accept the claim, you can file an appeal with the state agency. They will decide if you will receive compensation or not.
Resolving a Dispute Over Workers’ Compensation
If the third-party administrator contests a workers’ comp claim in Connecticut, a claimant can go through multiple appeals stages. Most cases are resolved through Informal Hearings, during which both parties attempt to find a mutually agreeable solution in good faith. If there is some urgent issue like an immediate need for surgery, it is possible to request an Emergency Hearing that effectively serves as an expedited Informal Hearing.
If the parties do not reach an agreement during Informal Hearings, the case can progress to a Pre-Formal Hearing followed by a Formal Hearing. The latter is a legal process overseen by the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for the state. The decision passed down by the Commissioner from this Formal Hearing is almost always binding. However, in certain circumstances, it may be possible to appeal one last time to the Commission’s Compensation Review Board with help from a Connecticut workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ Comp Benefits in Connecticut
In addition to money, workers’ compensation provides other benefits. These benefits include:
- The cost of physical therapy
- The cost of prescription drugs
- Compensation for money lost from taking time off of work
If a worker is killed on the job or from a job-related injury, the employee’s surviving dependents, such as spouse and children, will receive a death benefit based on the employee’s salary. An attorney at our firm can provide more information on the available workers’ compensation benefits in your case.
Getting Disability Benefits Through Workers’ Comp
If a work-related injury or illness leaves a worker disabled in a way that prohibits them from working for a significant length of time, they may be eligible to receive various disability benefits in addition to short-term reimbursement for medical bills and related expenses. The extent of these benefits depends on whether their disability is “partial” or “total,” as well as the duration and severity of their disability.
In some cases, a person’s work-related injury or illness renders them partially or totally unable to work for a finite period of time, after which they will recover to their pre-accident condition. In these situations, they may be eligible to receive up to 75 percent of their average weekly after-tax wage based on the 52 weeks prior to them becoming temporarily disabled. These benefits are generally unavailable until the injured employee has been out of work for over three calendar days. Once they have been disabled for seven or more calendar days, they can receive benefits dating back to their initial injury.
Someone rendered totally and permanently disabled from a workplace accident or illness—meaning they cannot ever return to their old job or hold any other kind of employment—may receive weekly payments equal to 75 percent of their pre-injury weekly after-tax tax, up to a maximum of 100 percent the state average weekly wage. The value of permanent partial disability benefits will vary based on the injured worker’s previous income, the affected bodily functions or areas, and whether they can hold gainful employment in a different job or industry with appropriate training.
What If I Don’t Qualify?
There are some cases in which you will not qualify for workers’ compensation. For example, if your injury is a result of intoxication, you will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Likewise, not all businesses are required to provide workers’ compensation. This is the case if a business has no employees, such as a business owned and run by one person. Furthermore, officers of a company have the option of receiving no workers’ compensation.
If you do not qualify for workers’ compensation or if your employer and the state agency deny your request, you will have to file a regular personal injury lawsuit against your employer. This is the only way that you could receive compensation, but by doing so, you might put your job at risk. A Connecticut lawyer at our office could help you determine whether to file a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a Connecticut Attorney to Discuss Workers’ Compensation
If you have been injured on the job or as a result of your job, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation. You can talk to your employer about workers’ compensation and apply as soon as possible. If your employer refuses to pay workers’ compensation, you can appeal to the state agency that oversees workers’ compensation.
If you do not qualify for workers’ compensation, you can contact a personal injury lawyer to help you sue your employer or make a case against whoever is responsible for your injuries. Reach out to a Connecticut workers’ compensation lawyer today to discuss your situation.