Work Injury Laws in Waterbury
Many jobs come with occupational hazards, but typically when a worker is injured at work, they’re entitled to workers’ compensation. Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in case an employee gets injured. When you’ve been injured at work, you don’t have to prove whose fault it is if you file for workers’ compensation. Harm, not liability, is what must be proven in workers’ compensation cases. There are many laws surrounding how workers and employers should respond to workers’ compensation claims.
It’s illegal for an employer to fire a worker for filing workers’ compensation. However, that doesn’t guarantee that an employee will be able to keep their job after their accident. Employers are required to attempt to find light or clerical duty if an employee is unable to perform their regular job after an accident, but this is dependent on the availability of such work. In addition, employers aren’t required to keep the position open indefinitely for the injured worker.
When an employee files for workers’ compensation, they lose the ability to sue their employer. A lawsuit may still be possible against a third party, like a product manufacturer. If you’re unsure of whether you should file for workers’ compensation or if you should file a lawsuit, you should talk to a work injury lawyer.
While most workers are entitled to workers’ compensation if they’ve been injured on the job, there are some limitations to consider. These include:
- A workers’ compensation claim must be filed within a year from the time of injury. If an occupational illness has developed, a claim must be filed three years from the beginning of the illness.
- Some industries prevent workers’ compensation claims. You may need to consult an attorney to explore your options.
- There are maximum benefit caps for workers’ compensation
What to Do When Injured at Work
If you’ve been injured while at work or performing job-related duties, you may need to follow certain steps. These steps include:
- Notify your employer: After an injury or accident, immediately notify your supervisor. They will need to fill out paperwork in the form of an “Employer’s First Report of Injury” form. You should request a copy.
- Seek medical treatment:Getting medically evaluated is one of the most important steps to take. Even after your initial injury, you should continue to receive medical treatment if needed. Keep documentation for all medical visits.
- Keep documentation:You should request copies of all forms that are filled out. You should also keep your medical records organized. If there were any witnesses to your accident, you should take down their contact information.
Common Work Injuries
Injuries that occur at work or while performing work-related duties are covered under workers’ compensation. Illnesses developed from work are also covered. Self-inflicted harm and injuries that are a result of illegal activities are not covered under workers’ compensation. Some of the most common injuries sustained at work include:
- Workplace Accidents:Some of the most common workplace accidents are trips, slips, and falls. Many of these accidents occur at construction sites or while the employee is on a ladder or scaffold. Other common injuries that occur during workplace accidents include broken bones, brain or head injuries, nerve damage, and paralysis.
- Industrial Injuries:When dealing with heavy machinery, injuries are common. Whether a worker gets stuck within the machinery or gets injured due to a defect, these are a common danger to many workers. Workplace accidents involving machinery can lead to disfigurement, scarring, and loss of limbs.
- Repetitive Trauma:Carpal tunnel is a common example of an injury caused by repetitive trauma. Other injuries may be caused by heavy lifting.
- Psychological Injury:Some workplaces may cause stress-related illness or injury. Conditions like PTSD may also be covered under workers’ compensation.
- Occupational Illness:Hazardous materials and toxic substances often lead to debilitating illness.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you’ve been injured at work and decide to file for workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to certain benefits. These include:
- Medical Expenses:Workers’ compensation covers hospital bills, diagnostics, and treatment.
- Mileage Reimbursement:Travel done to medical visits, vocational training, or other work-related places may be reimbursed.
- Disability:Workers’ compensation benefits include disability benefits.
- Vocational Training or Transfer:If you’re unable to perform the duties of your job, workers’ compensation covers the costs of retraining or transferring to a position you can handle.
Contact an Attorney
Workers’ compensation should be a straight-forward process, but it can be complicated. If you’re unsure of your legal options or your claim is putting an unfair burden on your health insurance coverage, you may need the assistance of an attorney. Call 203-720-6278 for a free legal consultation.