Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Laws

Connecticut worker’s compensation laws have enacted certain legal provisions with an objective to protect employees who suffer from occupational injuries or diseases. These laws in the state of Connecticut have also been designed in a way that makes the employers accountable to meet the state standards for workers compensation insurance. The laws clearly state that any worker who gets injured while on the job is entitled to proper medical care and it is the legal duty of the employer to make sure that the injured employee gets proper treatment in time. Some employers try to avoid the compensation filing by convincing the employee for a “mutual settlement”. Workers are strongly recommended not to enter into any such mutual agreement; they deserve a better amount of compensation, which they can get only when they go through the proper channel. Following is a brief rundown on some of the important points of the occupational injury laws in Connecticut.

Injury Reporting Requirements

As per the Connecticut worker’s compensation laws, there are certain injury-reporting requirements that an injured employee must follow. For example, any workplace injury must be reported to the employer immediately. If you are seriously injured and are not in a position to report the incident on your own, you can ask any of your co-worker or a family member to do the favor for you. As soon as an employer is made aware of such an incident at the workplace, he or she must immediately fill out an “Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness” form. As per the insurance laws for these types of cases, even the insurance company requires the employer to notify them about the incident with immediate effect. The employer can do this by submitting that form to the insurer. However, here it is important to note that even if you do not report the event immediately, you will still be legally entitled to compensation; it is just that it will delay the process and, make things a little more complex for you. Late reporting may result in a reduced amount of compensation. Unscrupulous employers can even try to take undue advantage of this delay and may try to make it a case of worker’s compensation fraud, claiming that you are making a false claim and that injury never took place at the workplace. Therefore, immediate reporting is necessary not just to meet a legal formality but to ensure the compensation you deserve.

Contesting Injuries

Connecticut worker’s compensation laws provide the legal right to the employer to contest any claim filed by an employee for occupational injury. An injured worker who is filing such a claim must be able to provide sufficient proof of injury and that the injuries were caused at the workplace or that the illness he or she is suffering from has been caused by the hazardous factors that the workplace is exposed to. These proofs can include eye-witnesses, statements from other co-workers, and the medical reports from a licensed specialized physician. The initial court proceeding is conducted at the District Court of the town where the employer is running the business from. it is then up to the Commissioner of the Workers’ Compensation Board to decide whether you are eligible to be awarded with a worker’s compensation or not. If yes, the employer will then be liable to make payments to you not just to cover the resulting medical expenses but also to cover the resulting wage loss due to the temporary or permanent disability caused by the occupational injuries.

Choice Of Doctor

In general, the Connecticut worker’s compensation laws provide the injured workers to choose a physician as per their own choice. But, if the employer already has an established managed care plan, you will have to follow the treatment from the physician selected by your employer. It is also important for you to keep in mind that Connecticut is one of those states that do not impose any monetary or time-based restrictions for occupational injury benefits.

Compensation Fraud

The Connecticut worker’s compensation laws also protect employers from any fraudulent activities on part of the employees. Unscrupulous employees sometimes file false claim with an objective to obtain a high amount of compensation from the employer. If an occupational injury fraud is proved in the court, the accused is convicted with a criminal offence and is punished with monetary penalty as well as a certain period of time in jail imprisonment. If the fraud causes more than $2000 of financial loss for the employer, it is treated as a class B felony, where the convict is sentenced with a monetary fine of up to $15000 and jail imprisonment for up to twenty years. However, if the fraud results in a financial loss of up to $2000, it is treated as a class C felony, where the convict is sentenced with a monetary fine of up to $10000 and jail imprisonment for up to ten years.

It is also important to note that the Connecticut worker’s compensation laws have not placed any maximum cap on the fees that an occupational injury attorney can charge to handle these types of cases.