A serious work-related injury or illness can quickly destabilize your life. Whether you were hurt suddenly or an injury developed over time, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and getting proper medical treatment can be intimidating and stressful. Worrying about how you will meet your financial needs can cause additional anxiety in an already trying situation.
Thankfully, Connecticut has workers’ compensation laws in place to protect injured workers. Understandably, it can be difficult to navigate the insurance claims process. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Gould Injury Law can answer your questions and protect your employee rights. Our legal team is dedicated to getting fast results for injured Connecticut workers.
Call Gould Injury Law today at 888-WIN-FAST, or fill out our online form, to schedule a free case review. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can get to work on your claim.
The 90-Day Rule for Workers’ Compensation Claims
You must understand that, as an injured or ill employee, you have rights and responsibilities under the workers’ compensation system. State workers’ compensation regulations set many requirements, including that you report your injuries or illness in a timely manner.
The workers’ comp 90-day rule is one of many that you need to be aware of after a work injury. The 90-day rule is intended to get employees prompt medical treatment as well as compensation for lost wages during the recovery phase.
Under Connecticut law, an employee must report a workplace injury or illness to his or her employer within 90 days of the date of the incident, or the date he or she became aware of the condition. Failure to report the injury or illness within the 90-day limit could result in a denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
Clearly, time is of the essence. Even though you technically have 90 days to make a report, it is in your best interest to inform your supervisor of your work-related injury or illness immediately. The sooner you make a report and file a workers’ compensation claim, the faster you will be eligible to receive needed benefits.
Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Connecticut
The Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act is a mandatory program. It has been put in place to pay medical bills and lost wages to both full-time and part-time employees in the event of work-related injuries or illnesses.
It is important to follow the state-mandated reporting process. In order to successfully make a workers’ comp claim and recover compensation, take the following steps:
- Report your injury or illness to your employer. Notify your supervisor immediately, if possible. Your employer should then file a first report of injury with the state’s claims administrator.
- Get prompt medical attention. Your employer should send you for a medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible after you are injured or become sick. If your employer has a designated medical provider or your company has a medical care plan, you must accept initial treatment under that plan. Seeking medical treatment outside of your employer’s medical provider network may jeopardize your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
- File an official claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The accident report filed by your employer is not an official claim for benefits. Only you, as the injured or ill employee, can file an actual workers’ compensation claim form. By officially putting your claim on record, you preserve any right to future benefits you may have.
Even with the 90-day rule, it is wise to take timely action when filing a workers’ comp claim. The statute of limitations applies to filing a claim. Many people choose to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to help them navigate the claim process and ensure that no important deadlines are missed. An experienced lawyer can help you avoid benefit delays and get better, faster results.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover
Every Connecticut business is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is an effective system that covers economic damages only. This means that if you are injured on the job, you are eligible to recover damages for such things as medical expenses, disability, and lost wages.
Work-related injuries and illnesses covered by the workers’ compensation system include:
- Heart disease
- Back injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Vision and hearing loss
- Occupational exposure
- Overuse or repetitive motion injuries
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries
- Communicable diseases
- Wrongful death
Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault system. This means that benefits are paid out to an injured employee, even if the accident was the employee’s fault. Further, an employee is still eligible for benefits even if he or she was born with a predisposition to certain injuries or illnesses.
Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Each claim is evaluated individually, but there are several types of benefits you will typically receive after a workplace accident.
Once completing the claims process, most injured workers are eligible for these benefits:
- Medical expenses: This includes not just your first visit to the company doctor but any and all medical expenses related to the accident. Medical costs are not limited and can include the expense of long-term, ongoing care.
- Lost wages: If you can not work for a time after your accident, you may receive a percentage of your wages.
- Disability benefits: Temporary disability benefits are paid when an injured or sick employee is unable to perform any job at all. Additionally, there are partial disability benefits. These are often awarded to those who can perform some type of work or require a reduced workload due to their injuries or illness.
Depending on the severity of your injury, additional benefits may be available. You may be eligible for the following:
- Permanent disability payments
- A living fund benefit
- Job retraining or vocational rehabilitation
It is your right as an employee to file a workers’ compensation claim and to have your medical expenses and wages paid while you recover from your injury. Remember the 90-day rule, inform your employer of your injury immediately, and file your compensation claim form without delay. Taking these steps could lead to a faster turnaround time for receiving your benefits.
Reach Out to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help
A serious workplace injury can be traumatizing both physically and emotionally. Workers’ comp laws and state disability insurance mandates are in place to protect both injured workers and their employers. However, the workers’ compensation system is often difficult to understand and notoriously frustrating to deal with.
A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the claims process, inform you of your rights, and help you work through any obstacles that come up. What is more, in the event that your employer or insurance company denies or delays your claim, your attorney can help you appeal this initial decision.
Workers’ comp cases can be complex and confusing, involving many complex regulations beyond the 90-day rule. The team of workers’ compensation attorneys at Gould Injury Law has decades of combined experience behind them. We pride ourselves in aggressively defending the rights of Connecticut injury victims. Once we take your case, we are committed to seeing it through to the end.
Don’t wait to take full advantage of your legal right to workers’ comp benefits. Get the help you need to recover compensation faster by reaching out to us today.
Call Gould Injury Law at 888-WIN-FAST, or fill out our online form, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.