If you have been injured at work or suffered a work-related illness, you should know your rights under the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Act. Also, if you are an employer, it is important to know what your responsibilities are with respect to your employees.
The purpose of workers' compensation is to provide employees who are injured on the job or who become ill while on the job medical treatment, benefits while injured or sick, and vocational rehabilitation if necessary. Connecticut has a no-fault insurance system where employers pay benefits to their injured employees, even if the employee caused the accident.
If you have been injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness, or if you are an employer wanting to know your responsibilities, it is important to be aware of workers' compensation rules under the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Act:
- The employer should send the injured employee to a medical facility or clinic so that the employee can get medical treatment. Under state law, the employer must provide the initial medical treatment at an employer-designated office.
- The injured employee should file a "written notice of claim" that serves as a record of your claim. The statute of limitations for filing a claim for an accidental injury is generally one year from the date the injury occurred, whereas for a work-related illness, the statute of limitations is generally three years from the first noticeable symptom.
- The employee should contact his or her employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier if he or she has not obtained a benefit check within two weeks of getting injured.
If the employer disputes the claim filed by the employee, the employee must establish that the injury or illness was work-related. The employee might be required to provide evidence at an informal hearing with the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission to prove up your claim. A Commissioner at the hearing will make the final determination of whether compensation is due.
Although an injured employee is not required by law to retain an attorney to pursue a workers' compensation claim, an attorney experienced in workers' compensation law can examine your situation and advise you of your best course of action. Additionally, if you are an employer contesting a workers' compensation claim, an attorney can help you prove why disputing the claim was appropriate under the circumstances. Whether you are an employee or employer, an experienced attorney can represent you effectively at hearings in front of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commissioners.
If you are seeking experienced legal representation the firm of Kenny, Brimmer, & Mahoney, LLC, can assist you in understanding and protecting your rights. Contact us today for further information or to discuss your options.