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Everything You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation

January 24 2023 | Workers' Compensation

An accident can happen at work when you least expect it, potentially causing serious injuries that interfere with your ability to do your job and require expensive medical care. In this scenario, Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system may provide financial reimbursement for your losses.

How Does the Workers’ Compensation System Work?

The State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Program was established by the Workers’ Compensation Act, located in Chapter 568 of the General Statutes of Connecticut. This law enacts a mandatory program to pay for an employee’s medical costs and lost wages associated with a work-related injury or illness. To those who qualify, the Act may also provide other benefits.

If a covered employee is diagnosed with an injury or illness that occurred within the course and scope of employment, the employee will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits without having to prove that someone else caused or is at fault for the injury. Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance system.

Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Comp?

Both part-time and full-time workers are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage in Connecticut. If a worker is an independent contractor and not an employee, however, he or she does not qualify for this type of coverage. All businesses in Connecticut with one or more employees are legally required to enroll in the workers’ comp system by purchasing and maintaining insurance.

Most types of injuries, illnesses and diseases are covered by workers’ comp. This includes injuries caused by single incidents, repetitive motions and pre-existing injuries exacerbated by work activities. It may also cover psychological harm, in some scenarios. As long as the injury or illness is deemed to arise out of the claimant’s employment, he or she will qualify for benefits.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Connecticut

If you get injured at work, your first step should be reporting the incident to your employer. If you don’t notify your employer of the accident right away, an insurance company may reduce or even deny your benefits. Next, get medical care without delay. Initially, you must get treatment from a provider that is on your employer’s approved list (except in emergencies). If your employer does not require you to go to an approved provider, you can see a doctor of your choice.

The official claims process begins with filing Form 30C, which notifies the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission that you are claiming benefits. The deadline for filing a workers’ comp claim is one year from the date of the injury or three years from the first symptoms of an occupational illness or disease. Be sure to file in a timely manner so you don’t miss your chance to recover compensation.

What Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Available?

The workers’ compensation program offers financial benefits to reimburse an employee for reasonable and necessary medical care, as well as lost wages from time taken off of work or time spent in a lower-paying role due to a disability. Lost wage benefits typically cover about one-half to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage. Death benefits can also be paid to surviving family members if a worker dies on the job.

Do You Need an Attorney for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If you encounter any issues while pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, such as the failure to receive a benefit check within two weeks of filing a claim or your claim being disputed by an insurer, contact a personal injury attorney in New Haven for help. An attorney can assist you with the claims process to help you recover fair compensation.

An attorney can also let you know if you have the right to hold a third party liable for your workplace accident. When you accept a workers’ compensation settlement, you give up the right to sue your employer for negligence. If there is evidence that your employer caused your injury, however, an attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit rather than a workers’ comp claim. Learn more about your options during a free case consultation at Jacobs & Jacobs.

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