You always give it your best at work, but when a work injury prevents you from earning a living to support your family, bills can add up quickly. Not knowing when you’re getting your next paycheck is distressing and distracts you from focusing on healing. When you’ve been injured while on the job, a successful workers’ compensation claim gives you the time you need to maximize your physical recovery while still supporting yourself and your family.
You were injured during your work duty, and now it’s the duty of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance to follow through on the terms of their contract to cover your medical care and a portion of your income until you can return to work. But first, you need to know if your injury is covered under your employer’s plan. What is workers’ compensation and what injuries does it cover in Connecticut?
Connecticut’s workers’ compensation program is a mandatory insurance program for Connecticut employers with one or more employees. The coverage provides compensation for medical expenses and lost wages to full or part-time employees who suffer work injuries or work-related illnesses while on the job. In some cases, workers’ compensation provides additional benefits including:
When an employee suffers a work injury while on the job, they must immediately report it to their employer. A third-party claims administrator approves or denies the claim. Employees have the right to contest a denial of their claim through a hearing process.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers nearly all work-related injuries from accidents, toxic exposures, and repetitive motion injuries. As of June 2023, the state expanded benefits to cover post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSD) for employees who suffer qualifying tragic events while on the job.
Accidents and injuries occur in all workplace environments but are especially common in the construction, transportation, and warehouse industries. Common injuries covered in Connecticut workers’ compensation claims include:
Even relatively minor injuries often involve expensive medical treatment and time away from work during recovery. More severe injuries can require extensive medical care and months away from your normal work duties. Some injuries cause temporary or permanent disability. In the worst-case scenarios, an injury that ends in death could result in a claim for workers’ compensation’s death benefits for grieving family members.
Work injuries include those sustained while performing job-related tasks, injuries from falls and other accidents on work sites, and injuries from traffic accidents during on-the-job travel. Some of the most common ways that injuries occur at the workplace include:
There are many ways that accidents and injuries happen at work, whether they occur in the normal process of the job, or from an unexpected accident. Workers’ compensation exists to pay for medical care for work-related injuries and to fill the gap in income until the injury victim is cleared to return to work.
If you’ve been seriously injured at work, it may be difficult to keep a clear head, but taking specific steps right after the injury can make a claim for compensation through workers’ compensation or a third-party injury claim a more streamlined process. If you can use your smartphone—or ask an uninjured coworker to use it for you—it becomes a helpful tool to do the following:
Once at the hospital, be sure to ask the medical provider for a detailed medical report with your injuries, the doctor’s recommended treatment protocol, and your prognosis. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a claim or appeal a denial of your claim.
Most states offer workers’ compensation benefits for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress. Recently, Connecticut expanded this benefit to employees of all occupations if they’ve endured or witnessed tragedy while on the job. These benefits begin in January of 2024. Examples of qualifying events include:
Workers who witness or encounter tragic circumstances while on the job deserve support for their very real emotional injury, including expenses for related mental healthcare and lost income.
Making a claim for workers’ compensation should be a straightforward process to protect employees from lost wages while also protecting employers from lawsuits, but like most legal processes, navigating the ever-evolving system successfully can be challenging. A New Haven workers’ compensation attorney can help maximize your chances of a successful claim so you can focus on recovering from your injury.