Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical expenses, partial income, and other benefits for employees in Connecticut who suffer injuries or illnesses at work. This state-mandated coverage aims to reduce the financial stress of injured workers and puts a responsibility on employers to maintain safe working environments.
While the basic principles of workers’ comp are simple, many employees find that administrative and procedural hurdles can create unnecessary delays in receiving their rightful benefits. For others, common mistakes lead to outright denials of their claims. Understanding how workers’ compensation works in Connecticut can help you know what steps to take after an on-the-job injury.
Are Employers Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Connecticut law requires all businesses with one employee or more to carry workers’ compensation insurance. According to the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act, this requirement applies to full-time and part-time employees. For the purposes of workers’ compensation laws, Connecticut does not consider certain workers as employees, including:
- Casual workers
- Individuals working in a private home for less than 26 hours per week
- Corporate officers who elect not to have coverage
What Should I Do If I Am Injured On the Job?
If you suffer an injury on the job, taking the following steps will improve your chances of recovery and help your workers’ compensation claim process be more efficient and effective:
- Notify your employer – Report the injury to your supervisor or human resources department immediately.
- Fill out the necessary forms – Your employer should provide you with a form with instructions about how to document your injury, including the date, time, location, and nature of the incident.
- Seek medical attention – When you visit a medical professional, notify them that you received your injury at work. Follow all instructions and treatment plans your doctor prescribes.
- Save documentation – Keep copies of the incident report, medical records, and injury-related expenses, as they will be relevant to your claim.
- Contact a Connecticut workers’ comp attorney – The claims process can be complicated, and you may face unexpected challenges. Working with an experienced lawyer can help the process go more smoothly.
Am I Required to Report My Injury to My Employer?
You must report a job-related injury or illness to your employer or supervisor immediately after it happens or you discover it. Your employer must then immediately notify their insurer. Once your claim is successfully submitted, your employer or their insurer should begin paying your wage replacement benefits within 28 days.
What Benefits Will Workers’ Compensation Pay?
Workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Medical expenses
- Mileage reimbursement
- Wage replacement
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
- Injury recurrence or relapse
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Dependent survivor benefits if the worker dies from their injuries
Is There a Network of Medical Providers I Have to See for My Injury?
You must have an initial visit with a physician chosen by your employer. After the initial visit, Connecticut does not typically require employees to see doctors who are part of a medical provider network for workers’ compensation injuries. You are free to choose your own physician in most cases. But if
Does Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Also Reimburse for Mileage If I Need to Drive to a Medical Provider?
In Connecticut, an employer must pay for or provide transportation for necessary exams, treatment, or tests. This includes paying mileage at the federal reimbursement rate if you use your personal vehicle.
Can My Employer Fire Me If I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is illegal for an employer to fire or retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim in good faith. However, some employers try to skirt the law by fabricating other reasons for termination.
Signs of retaliation can include:
- Being fired shortly after reporting an injury or illness
- Sudden performance criticisms after otherwise positive reviews
- Being assigned undesirable tasks or shifts
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated or punished, speak to a Connecticut workers’ comp attorney immediately. They can help you file a complaint with the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. You may be able to recover your job, lost wages, benefits, and legal fees.
How Long Can I Be on Workers’ Compensation?
There is no established limit on how long you can receive some workers’ compensation benefits. In most cases, you are entitled to weekly payments and medical care until you reach “maximum medical improvement.” This status signifies when your doctor determines your condition has improved as much as can be expected with treatment.
The duration of benefits depends on factors like:
- The severity of your injury or illness
- How quickly you respond to treatment
- Whether you develop complications
Other benefits, such as permanent partial disability, disfigurement and scarring, and wage differential benefits, may only be paid for a certain number of weeks. An experienced Connecticut workers’ compensation attorney can help determine how long you may be eligible for benefits.
What If My Claim Is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim gets denied, don’t panic. Thousands of legitimate claims get denied each year. Reasons may include:
- Disagreements over whether the injury occurred at work
- Preexisting conditions that may have contributed
- Missing deadlines for reporting injuries
Speak to an attorney promptly if your claim gets denied. An experienced lawyer can request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to appeal the decision. With strong evidence and advocacy, many denials get overturned.
If the Commission upholds the denial, you can file an appeal in the Connecticut Superior Court. However, this process takes time, so having skilled legal representation is critical.
Contact a Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Suffering a workplace injury or illness is always inconvenient and sometimes debilitating. The uncertainty about the effects of your ailment on your livelihood can also create a great deal of stress. Yet it is essential to remember that you have rights.
The Connecticut workers’ compensation attorneys at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC are passionate about standing up for the interests of injured workers. Our attorneys have a proven track record of achieving favorable results for our clients. We want to put our experience and skills to work for you, too. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.