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What Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

September 15, 2023Articles

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?

What is Workers’ Compensation, and How Do I Know if My Employer Has Coverage?

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:


  • Disability
  • Disfigurement compensation
  • Loss of limb compensation
  • “308a benefits” to pay 75% of the difference in pay if your injury doesn’t allow you to return to work in your previous capacity or you’re forced to take a lower-paying position
  • Vocational rehabilitation or job retraining
  • Relapse pay
  • Death benefits

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.

Is My Injury Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Connecticut?

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:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractures
  • Flame and chemical burns
  • Electrocution burns
  • Toxic exposures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Crush injuries

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.

What Types of Accidents Cause Common Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

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:

  • Same level falls (slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents)
  • Falls from heights, such as ladders, roofs, and scaffolding
  • Car and truck accident injuries from driving on the job
  • Struck-by accidents, including injuries from falling shelves, boxes, and equipment and impacts from construction vehicles or forklifts
  • Electrocutions
  • Injuries from defective work products or equipment
  • Toxic exposures
  • Fires and explosions
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Improper lifting injuries

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.

What to Do After a Work Injury

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:

  • Call 911 to request EMS
  • Report the injury to your employer
  • Take photos of any visible injuries while you wait for help to arrive
  • Take photos of anything that contributed to the injury, like defective equipment or a fallen scaffold.
  • Record a brief statement about how the injury occurred while it’s fresh in your mind
  • Add the contact information of any coworkers who were eyewitnesses to the injury.

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.

Compensation for Work-Related Post Traumatic Stress Injuries

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:

  • Witnessing the death of a minor
  • Witnessing a fatality or an accident or violent incident that leads to a death
  • Witnessing an injury that later leads to the injury victim’s death at a hospital or on the way to the hospital
  • Physically assisting an injured person who later dies from their injury
  • Carrying an injured person who later dies
  • Witnessing an injury resulting in traumatic limb loss, disfigurement, or the loss of a vital body function

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.

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

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.