Every day you go to work thinking that you will do your job properly and then return home at the end of the day to your family. Unfortunately, many employees end up in hospital as a result of a workplace accident. In this case, it is important to know that injured workers have the right to receive financial compensation for their medical care expenses and lost wages under the workers' compensation scheme. If you were injured on the job, we strongly urge you to contact one of the experienced workers compensation attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace law firm to help you file your compensation claim. Unfortunately, although compensation laws in Connecticut are on your side, you will experience the hostility of the insurance company that provides coverage to your employer. Their aim is to get your compensation claim denied by any means allowed by the law - sometimes, even stepping beyond the limits of the law. Your only chance of getting adequate financial compensation for your economic losses is to get legal advice from an attorney with a lot of experience in cases dealing with work-related injuries.
Common Instances of Workplace Accidents
In some cases, you will be told that you do not qualify for workers' compensation under your employer's compensation policy because you were not on the job or you were away from the workplace. Do not allow insurance adjusters intimidate you into dropping your personal injury claim. You have the right to benefit from the maximum compensation permitted by the law depending on the circumstances and the outcome of workplace injury accidents.
Here are some instances of work-related injuries that a comp lawyer encounter on a regular basis:
Construction Site Accidents
Construction workers are extremely vulnerable to accidents by crushing under a heavy load or a piece of defective machinery. Employees in the construction industry may also get injured by:
- improperly signaled dangerous conditions
- exposed live electrical wires
- truck accidents (when loaded trucks accidentally spill the load).
Employees who drive a company car or their own vehicle for job related purposes can receive comp benefits if they are injured in a traffic accident. This also applies to truck drivers carrying merchandize.
Many workers have to handle dangerous and corrosive chemicals in the course of their job duties. If they are not properly secured, or if the workers do not wear adequate protection equipment, they may get severe chemical burns if their skin gets in contact with these substances.
A malfunctioning equipment or a motor vehicle collision can result into a fire, causing catastrophic injuries that may result in permanent disability and disfiguring.
In some instances, workplace accidents are caused by various tools and devices which have a dangerous design or manufacturing flaw. Even though this is, technically, a product liability case, your employer shares the liability for your accident injuries. It is their legal duty towards you to ensure that the workplace is a safe environment and this covers the equipment and various items you use in your daily activities.
What You Must Do after a Workplace Accident
When you suffered an accident at the workplace, you must follow a precise procedure if you want to receive the compensation payments you are entitled to receive. This is procedure is clearly stated by the State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission and it includes the following steps:
- Report the accident to your employer immediately
- Request immediate medical care
- File an official claim as soon as possible.
The official claim is the Form 30C - Notice of Claim for Compensation. You must send the original of the document to your employer by certified or registered mail and a copy to the nearest District Office of the Workers' Compensation Commission. A personal injury attorney can help you identify the correct district office where to send your notice.
How Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage Works
If you suffered an accidental injury at the workplace, it is very important to seek medical attention and to continue your treatment plan, without missing any appointment. If you have to miss an appointment, document what happened - insurance carriers are looking for any loophole to get your claim denied.
After you submit Form 30C, your Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments should start. They cover your medical care expenses and are paid directly to your healthcare provider.
When the doctor allows it, the injury victim can start doing light-duty activities or apply for retraining for a new job (vocational rehabilitation). In this situation, Temporary Partial Disability comp benefits will be paid to you as wage replacement during the job search period.
If you are left with a partial disability for the rest of your life, you are eligible to receive Permanent Partial Disability benefits.
Please note that at any moment your employer may require you to undergo a medical examination performed by medical professionals working on behalf of the insurance carrier. You will not have to pay for this examination, but you must attend it - otherwise your compensation payments will be stopped.
What to Do If Your Claim for Workers' Compensation Is Denied
In many situations, workers do not get the compensation benefits they deserve, because the insurance company denies their claim. The first thing you must do is hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your appeal. The first thing you must know is that the statute of limitations (time period) for filing a claim for workers' comp benefits is 1 year after the accident or 3 years after the manifestation of an occupational disease.
The timeline of a workers' comp claim is as follows:
- within 28 days after you submit the claim, the insurance company can either start paying or deny your claim
- if they start paying, the insurer carrier has 1 year to challenge your claim
- if the insurance company does not deny your claim, they must issue a Voluntary Agreement.
If the insurer either fails to start paying or deny your claim within 28 days, they lose the right to challenge your claim. In reality, they will likely try challenging your claim or sending you a denial.
At this point, your workers' compensation attorney will instruct you to request an Informal Hearing or a Formal Hearing at the Workers' Compensation Commission. The Informal Hearing is called for if the dispute between you and the insurance company is likely to be solved by mediation.
The Formal Hearing is like a trial, and you will need legal compensation representation. It involves evidence, witness testimonies and various exhibits, including your medical records. An experienced personal injury attorney can mount a persuasive case that will determine the WCC to issue a Finding and Award in your favor.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm!
Jacobs & Wallace is a team of personal injury lawyers with decades of experience as trial attorneys and in negotiations with insurance companies. We can assist you during the entire process of filing a workers' compensation claim and represent you during a Formal Hearing before the Compensation Review Board.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get paid until we win your fair compensation. Call us now to schedule an initial consultation and present your case before an experienced workers' compensation attorney: 203-332-7700!