New Haven Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Under the New Haven workers’ compensation program, when you are injured in a workplace accident, you are entitled to three main benefits:
- Your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance provider pays for all of your medical bills;
- You receive a portion of your normal weekly wages while you are off work recovering; and
- You receive a monetary settlement at the end of your claim, based on any ongoing disability you have as a result of the injury.
These benefits are provided only for illnesses and injuries that occur during the course of your employment or as a result of your work environment. To learn more about a New Haven workers’ compensation claim, contact Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante. During a case consultation, our attorneys will answer any questions you have and help you figure out the best next steps for your situation.
Why Choose the Attorneys at Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante?
- With over 65 years of legal experience, our firm understands how to navigate complex workers’ compensation claims. We will guide you through each stage of litigation so that you can focus on treatment and recovery.
- We have secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, recovering high settlements, jury verdicts, and workers’ comp payouts. Our lawyers will work to maximize your award and recover the benefits that you deserve.
- Our attorneys have been repeatedly recognized as some of the best in the United States. You can trust our lawyers to leverage their skills and advocate aggressively for your best interests.
What Are Connecticut’s Laws for Workers’ Compensation?
In Connecticut, any business with at least one employee is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Failure to carry workers’ comp insurance could lead to serious penalties, which can include thousands of dollars in potential fines.
There are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, business owners are not required to hold workers’ comp coverage. If the employer only has household workers who work 26 hours per week or less, this requirement is also waived.
What Benefits Are Available in a Connecticut Workers’ Comp Claim?
Under the Connecticut workers’ compensation system, employees who are injured at work are entitled to certain benefits. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you may be eligible for any of the following:
- Medical Expenses: You have the right to recover benefits for all reasonable and necessary medical care related to your workplace injury. These expenses may include hospital bills, prescriptions, and surgical procedures. If you need to travel to and from medical appointments, you can also recover compensation for mileage.
- Temporary Disability: If you are unable to perform your job duties, you are eligible to recover temporary disability benefits. You may be eligible for temporary total disability if you are unable to work at all following your injury. If you can return to part-time or light-duty work, you can secure temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits will typically last until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).
- Permanent Disability: After you reach MMI, you may have lasting impairments. If you suffer severely debilitating injuries such as the loss of the hands, arms, or legs, you could recover permanent total disability benefits. If you suffer from any other type of impairment, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability.
An attorney from Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante can help you identify these benefits and calculate the compensation that you may qualify for. Using this information, we will evaluate any decisions to ensure that your benefits payments are sufficient.
How Do You File a Workers’ Comp Claim in New Haven?
To file for workers’ compensation coverage in Connecticut, you will need to report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer will complete an Employer’s First Report of Injury form and send a copy to the insurance company, the Connecticut Workers Compensation Commission (WCC), and you.
Within one year from your accident or three years from the diagnosis of your injury, you will also need to file an official claim and provide a Notice of Claim for Compensation to the WCC and your employer. Your employer will then have 28 days to accept or deny your claim.
How the Extent of Your Injuries Affects Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in New Haven
Suffer a minor injury, such as a sprain or contusion, and most times your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance provider are happy to pay. They know that the treatment will be straightforward and that you won’t need to take much time off.
But, if you file a claim for something more serious, you probably won’t find them quite as obliging. The moment you start talking about a herniated disc, pinched nerve, or a tear in a shoulder or knee, the chances are you will receive no benefits while your employer and their insurance provider dispute your condition.
This is referred to as an extent of injury dispute, and it is up to you and your New Haven workers’ compensation attorney to prove the extent of your injuries. But, as you might expect, your employer and their insurance company will make this as difficult as they can.
You can have an MRI that shows that you definitely have a rotator cuff tear or a herniated disc, but if the insurance company disputes it, you will not be authorized to get treatment. You will also be denied wage replacement benefits if the condition prevents you from working, and you won’t receive any compensation for any permanent disability.
The good news, however, is that you don’t have to accept this. You, with the help of a competent workers’ compensation attorney, can gather the necessary evidence and request a formal hearing before the Compensation Review Board (CRB).
This will require more than simply proving that you have a particular condition, you will also need to prove that the condition is work-related. In most cases, this means obtaining expert medical evidence.
You will need a doctor’s report explaining how your workplace accident caused your disputed injury. This is called a causation letter, and with it, you can legally challenge your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company’s decision.
What Is a Third-Party Claim?
If you have a job in Connecticut, chances are that if you sustain a workplace injury, you will be covered under the Connecticut workers’ compensation program. What’s more, your workplace injury claim will be handled by the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS).
As such, you will receive medical benefits and wage replacement benefits while you are unable to work, as well as compensation for any permanent disability. In exchange, you relinquish your right to a civil claim against your employer for any negligence on their part, which may have contributed to the cause of your injury.
But what if you get hurt because of a third party, i.e. someone other than your employer or an individual on their payroll? For example, a visiting engineer could have left a bag of tools at the top of a flight of stairs, causing you to trip. As another example, a defective piece of equipment could have caused your injury, in which case, the manufacturer or the servicing company would be the third party.
If a third party was responsible for your workplace accident or contributed to its cause in any way, you may be entitled to file a third-party claim. This is essentially a civil negligence claim against the liable third party.
Third party claims do not have the same limits as workers’ compensation claims. With a third-party claim, you can seek damages above and beyond those that are available to you through a workers’ compensation claim, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
But, unlike a workers’ compensation claim which is a no-fault claim, a third-party claim will require you to establish fault on the part of the third party. What’s more, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider will have a legal right to recover any costs if your injury is proved not to be your employer’s fault.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in New Haven?
Workers’ compensation law has its own vocabulary, including many concepts, terms, and abbreviations that you may be unfamiliar with. Also, there is a lot of information that you need to know, many things to consider, and strict deadlines that must be met. Our workers’ compensation FAQ is a good place to start getting your questions answered, but the situation may still be confusing.
This complexity works to the advantage of workers’ compensation insurance providers because the more you don’t understand, the easier it is for them to deny, delay, or diminish your workers’ compensation benefits.
This is why you should consult with an experienced New Haven personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate your claim through the pitfalls of the Connecticut workers’ compensation program. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure that you get timely medical attention to diagnose and treat your injury, so that you can return to work as soon as you are physically able.
Call Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, we understand that each case is unique. To start, you will be assigned a highly competent workers’ compensation attorney and support staff. Furthermore, because we believe in communication and customer service, we will provide you with direct access to your attorney.
We are a well-respected New Haven Law firm that represents injured workers all over Connecticut. We are proud of successfully resolving a host of cases for injured Connecticut workers and their families.
Allow us to evaluate your workers’ compensation claim free of charge. Call us today at 203-800-7343, toll-free at 888-692-7403, or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment or speak with one of our experienced Connecticut workers’ compensation lawyers about your case.