If you have been seriously injured in the workplace, you can generally rely on workers’ compensation to reimburse you for any costs incurred. However, not all injuries in Connecticut are eligible for workers’ compensation, and sometimes claims can often be denied for reasons that are unknown or unexplained.
In such cases, the Stamford workers’ compensation lawyers at Goff Law Group, LLC, can provide valuable input on your workers’ compensation claim, and help you pursue any financial recovery that you rightfully deserve. It’s highly recommended to consult a legal professional to discuss any options for compensation.
Generally, workers’ comp covers both traumatic injuries and occupational illnesses. Traumatic injuries are one-time incidents that result in serious injuries. These injuries are eligible for workers’ comp if:
Occupational illnesses are cumulative injuries – diseases or injuries which develop over a long period of time. This includes:
If it can be shown that these ailments developed or worsened due to your working conditions, you may have a case for workers’ comp benefits.
If approved, workers’ compensation in Connecticut can cover most of your medical bills. That includes initial hospital bills, subsequent doctor’s visits, rehabilitation costs, and any necessary prosthetics and prescriptions.
If you are seriously injured for a prolonged period of time, you are also eligible to receive compensation for any lost wages incurred as a result of the injury. These temporary disability payments are capped at 75% of your average weekly wages.
If your condition does not improve and you are found to be permanently disabled, you may then receive permanent disability benefits. These are typically only available to employees with severely debilitating injuries that prevent them from effectively earning wages in their current or similar job.
In Connecticut, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Unlike many other personal injury claims, it does not matter who was negligent or reckless. If you suffer an injury while performing duties related to your job, you can usually receive workers’ compensation even if the injury was your fault.
Because you can receive compensation even if you caused the injury, you are only allowed specific benefits. With most personal injury claims, the court can award you damages for pain and suffering, which covers a difference in overall quality of life. Workers’ compensation in Connecticut does not cover pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you can receive:
The specifics of the benefits are different depending on the severity of your injury or illness.
To begin the process, you must first report your injury to your employer immediately. They may require that you fill out a form to disclose the terms of your injury.
The first thing you need to do after suffering an injury at work is report it. The sooner you report it, the sooner you may be able to begin receiving compensation. Additionally, delayed claims often make the insurance companies and employers worried about possible fraud, causing them to be hesitant in awarding you compensation.
You should include as many details as possible in your report. Some of the details should include when the accident occurred, how you hurt yourself, and what symptoms you are experiencing.
After you report your injury, the process will begin. Your employer will send you to a pre-approved physician. If no pre-approved doctor has been designated, you can go to a doctor of your choosing. Make sure to tell the doctor as much as you can, including the fact that you suffered the injury on the job. Insurance companies look at medical records and doctors’ statements when determining eligibility, so it is important that your doctor has the correct information.
Along with sending you to a physician, your employer needs to submit a form to the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission called an Employer’s First Report of Injury. Insurance companies will not begin to process your request, however, until you submit a Notice of Claim form. You must submit the form within one year of the date of the injury or three years from the first symptoms of an occupational disease. If you miss the deadlines, you may not be able to receive compensation.
Once the insurance company receives both a Notice of Claim form from you and the Employer’s First Report of Injury, it will begin investigating the claim. The investigation may involve:
Connecticut law requires the insurance companies to either approve or deny your claim within 28 days of receiving it. If the company approves your claim, you will begin receiving payments.
Additionally, you must file an official workers’ compensation claim by filling out Form 30C, the Notice of Claim for Compensation. Upon completion, this form must be submitted to both your employer and the Worker’s Compensation Commission. For traumatic injuries, you have one year from the date of the accident, and for occupational illnesses, you have three years from the first noticeable symptoms of the disease.
On paper, the workers’ comp benefits process is fairly straightforward. Because the insurance operates on a no-fault system, injured employees only need to prove that their injuries were sustained within the course of their employment.
However, legitimate claims are often contested and denied without any seeming probable cause, leaving employees with a growing pile of medical bills and no foreseeable income. In such cases, it’s highly recommended to seek a Connecticut workers’ compensation lawyer, such as the attorneys at Goff Law Group.
If the company denies your claim in Connecticut, you can appeal the decision. There is a series of levels in the appeals process. Goff Law Group has experience working with the workers’ compensation laws in Connecticut. If the insurance company denies your request for workers’ compensation, we can help. Contact Goff Law Group for help appealing your denied workers’ compensation claim.
The Stamford workers’ compensation lawyers at Goff Law Group fight for you to receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. We have the experience and skills to navigate the workers’ compensation claims process with ease, so you can have peace of mind and focus on recuperating your health. We thorough research and review your case, and keep open communication lines with our clients for transparency.