Waterbury Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation, or workers’ comp, was designed to protect both the employer and the employee. It acts as a wage replacement to the employee, providing money to live on after a work-related accident or illness. In exchange, the employer cannot be sued for the injury. Although accepting workers’ compensation prevents an employee from suing the employer, a liable third-party could be sued.
In Connecticut, all businesses with one or more employees are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Most employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation if they’ve been injured at work. In order to receive workers’ compensation after an injury, the claim must be filed within a year. In the case of occupational illness, it must be filed within three years from the onset of the illness.
Common Workplace Injuries
Each workplace has different risks, but there are some common injuries found in workers’ compensation cases. Some of these include:
- Workplace Accidents: Some of the most common workplace accidents are trips, slips, and falls. Construction sites also have several common accidents, like electrocution, being struck by falling objects, and getting caught between machinery.
- Occupational Illness: Workers in manufacturing or dealing with toxic substances often contract illnesses like asbestos poisoning or black lung.
- Machinery Accidents: Dealing with heavy machinery can be dangerous. Machinery can be defective and cause injuries, but human error can also lead to injury. Workplace accidents involving machinery can lead to disfigurement, scarring, and loss of limbs.
- Heart Attack: In Connecticut, an on-the-job heart attack is covered under workers’ compensation.
- Repetitive Use Injuries: Clerical workers often get carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive tasks like typing. Other workers, like those who do repeated heavy lifting, may be prone to muscle strains or even repetitive strain injury.
Self-inflicted injuries and injuries sustained while breaking the law are not covered under workers’ compensation.
What to Do When Injured on the Job
If you are injured at work, the first thing you should do is notify your employer. Your employer will complete an “Employer’s First Report of Injury” form, which you should receive a copy of for your records.
When first being treated, your employer may designate a health care provider for evaluation and subsequent care. In most circumstances, you may choose your own provider for the next treatment, though they might be required to be in your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance network.
In order to receive workers’ compensation, you must complete a “Notice of Claim for Compensation” form within a year of your initial injury. The next step is receiving notification of your employer’s decision. They can decide to:
- Accept your claim and begin making payments.
- Deny your claim, in which case you are entitled to a hearing. To request a hearing, you must complete a “Hearing Request” form.
- Pay without prejudice. This period refers to when an employer waits to make a final decision but pays the benefits in the meantime.
What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
Workers’ compensation is not taxed, but the payments are capped. The maximum in benefits that you’re entitled to depends on your wages and the extent of your injury. The benefits for injured workers include:
- Medical Treatment: Workers’ compensation covers hospital bills, diagnostics, and treatment.
- Mileage Reimbursement: As of 2019, Connecticut reimburses 58 cents per mile driven to medical appointments.
- Disability: Whether partially or totally incapacitated, workers’ compensation benefits include disability payments.
- Retraining or Transfer: If you’re unable to perform the duties of your job while injured, workers’ compensation covers the costs of retraining or transferring to a more suitable position.
You cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering with workers’ compensation.
Contact A Waterbury Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You have the right to workers’ compensation if you’ve been injured on the job. Our experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Porzio, LLC can assist you in getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call (203) 573-0019 for a free legal consultation.