What to Do if You Are Injured on the Job
If you are injured while on the job in Connecticut, your employer is required to pay for all your reasonable and necessary medical treatments, AND pay a portion of your lost wages if you are not able to work. The law requires all employers to either buy workers' compensation insurance for these claims, or to certify that they are self-insured. Your employer cannot fire you or demote you simply because you make a workers' compensation claim.
If you are hurt on the job — here's what you need to do:
- Report your injury to your employer immediately. Your employer should provide you with prompt medical treatment. Your employer should also file a First Report of Injury form with its workers' compensation insurance carrier. Do not delay in reporting your workplace injury, as this gives the insurance company a chance to contest your claim.
- Get prompt medical attention. Your employer should send you to a hospital, the company medical facility or a physician as soon as possible after you are injured.
- File an official workers' compensation claim as soon as possible. Filing a written notice of claim puts your workers' compensation claim on record. A form 30-C is best for this purpose, and is available from any workers' compensation office or the Workers' Compensation Commission's Education Services. The statute of limitations for filing a compensation claim for an accidental injury is one year from the date of the injury. There are other time limits for repetitive trauma claims or occupational disease claims. If your employer wants to contest your workers' compensation claim, you must receive written notice of a denial of the claim (describing the reasons for it) or your employer must begin making workers' compensation payments without prejudice within 28 calendar days.
- Contact your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier if you don't get a benefit check within two weeks of becoming disabled. To start payments, the insurance carrier needs the First Report of Injury form and a wage statement from your employer. The insurance carrier also needs a medical report from your physician confirming that your injury is work related and that you are disabled by it. Additionally, they need to know your federal tax filing status and the number of exemptions shown on your federal tax return. If only the wage statement is missing, the carrier can usually send an advance payment until it comes in.
Benefits Under the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Act
Workers' compensation benefits to which you may be entitled include:
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary Total (TT) disability benefits are essentially wage replacement benefits. They are paid by your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier while you are unable to perform any type of work due to your work-related injury or illness. Temporary Total benefits begin on the fourth calendar day of disability from work. If the disability lasts for seven or more calendar days, payment will be made retroactively to cover all the days of disability from work. (The day of an injury is not counted as a day of disability from work.)
For injuries/illnesses occurring on or after July 1, 1993 — Weekly TT benefits are equal to 75 percent of your after-tax earnings (federal and state taxes and FICA) for the 52-week period prior to the injury/illness. This TT benefit may not exceed 100 percent of the State Average Weekly Wage.
Recurrence or Relapse From Recovery
If you return to work from an injury, but then have a recurrence or relapse from recovery, you will again be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. Your compensation rate will be based on your original TT benefit rate (with any applicable cost-of-living adjustments) or the TT rate based on your earnings at the time of recurrence or relapse, whichever is higher. Temporary Total rates for recurrences or relapses are handled the same as for original rates, dependent upon the date of injury or illness.
Permanent Partial Disability
If your attending physician determines you have reached maximum medical improvement and that you have sustained a permanent partial disability (partial loss of function of a body part) he or she must provide a disability rating, usually on a Form 42 or in a narrative medical report. A disability rating marks the end of other workers' compensation wage benefits. It makes you eligible to receive weekly Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits for a specific number of weeks. The PPD benefit rate is your base benefit rate as established at the time of the injury or first diagnosis of the occupational illness. The number of weeks of payments you will receive depends upon your disability rating. The higher the rating, the more weeks of payments you will receive.
If you cannot return to your usual work because of a significant permanent impairment, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. If eligible, your rehabilitation program will be paid for by the Workers' Compensation Commission's Rehabilitation Services. For more information, call 860-493-1500.
The Commission's Education Services can be reached, toll free in Connecticut at 800-223-WORK. More information and a list of forms are available on the workers' compensation website at http://wcc.state.ct.us.
Contact a Connecticut Workplace Injury Lawyer
At the Law Offices of John J. LaCava, we have been helping put lives back together for more than 25 years. We can help you, too.
Our main offices are located in Stamford, Connecticut, but you can reach us at any of our three convenient Fairfield County locations by calling 877-293-6717 or by contacting an attorney online with a brief description of your situation. You can speak with a Stamford workers' compensation claim lawyer directly about your case.
We have three locations, in Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport, to conveniently serve our clients with day or evening appointments. Initial consultations are always provided free of charge. Appointments can be made for evenings, weekends and off-site locations for your convenience.
You will pay no fees or costs unless we recover compensation in your case.