Frequently Asked Questions About Work Injuries
The FAQ below is not intended is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney. Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., serves New Haven, the Gold Coast and clients throughout Connecticut. Schedule a free consultation today for help with your specific issues.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation (“workers’ comp”) is a no-fault system providing benefits for a work-related injury or illness. All employers are required to provide workers’ compensation. The program is administered by the state of Connecticut (Workers’ Compensation Commission).
Can I sue my employer directly instead?
No. That is the trade-off of workers’ comp. In exchange for providing wage and medical benefits, employers have immunity from personal injury claims, even when there is evidence of employer negligence.
Can I sue my co-worker for causing my injury?
No. You cannot sue your co-worker, subordinate, supervisor or any party in your chain of employment. However, you can sue third parties outside of that chain. (See below.)
What are the benefits under workers’ comp?
- All “reasonable and necessary” medical care arising from your injury
- Wage benefits equal to two-thirds of your average weekly pay
- Disability payments if you are permanently injured or unable to work at all
- Death benefits to a spouse and dependent children
Can I choose my doctors?
Yes and no. Your employer may require you to go to a certain hospital or clinic when you first seek treatment for a work injury. After the initial treatment, you do not have to stay with the “preferred” providers. You can choose which doctors to see for follow-up care, and workers’ compensation must cover it.
There was no accident, but I am injured. Can I take workers’ comp?
Yes. Many times there is no specific accident or event. Maybe you were doing normal lifting, turning or bending in your job when you felt sharp pains. Maybe you woke up one day and had trouble breathing or couldn’t raise your arm. The key is establishing medical causation between work activities and the injury/illness.
Can I get workers’ comp for a pre-existing condition?
Yes, if the job aggravated your pre-existing medical condition. For example, if you fell at work and aggravated an old knee or shoulder ailment, you would be covered. However, insurers may try to blame it on activities outside of work.
Can my claim be denied?
Yes. Claims may be rejected for failure to report the accident, failure to detail what happened or incomplete medical documentation. The employer may also challenge whether it was job-related or whether you are hurt badly enough to miss work.
Denied claims can be appealed through the Workers Compensation Commission. Contact a lawyer if you have not already. Our lawyers have a good track record of getting clients authorized or reinstated after a claim denial or termination of benefits.
More questions? Contact us today.
The facts of your case — and the knowledge and ability of your attorney — can make or break your work injury claims. Call Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., at 866-689-1248 to arrange a free consultation.