Bridgeport CT Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
You may be eligible for benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance if you suffered an injury at work. Workers’ compensation laws exist to provide injured employees assistance while also giving employers legal protection from lawsuits related to workplace accidents. Unfortunately, many employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers want injured employees to remain ignorant of their rights under the state’s workers’ compensation laws.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Carter Mario can help you file your claim, represent you in your case if the insurer refuses to pay or underpays your claim, and keep employers and insurance companies accountable. We have been representing injured workers throughout the state of Connecticut for over 30 years. If you’ve suffered an injury at work, contact the Bridgeport workers’ compensation lawyers at Carter Mario for a free consultation.
The Workers’ Comp Claim Help You Need
Injured workers often make the mistake of not filing a workers’ compensation claim, or worse, they try to file a claim without an attorney. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Carter Mario have obtained over $1 billion dollars for our injured clients.
How to Define Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation insurance is a form of “no-fault” insurance, which means you do not need to prove your employer was at fault to receive compensation. The 1913 Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to purchase insurance to provide injured workers with financial, medical, and vocational benefits. According to §31-275(1), an employee must have suffered an accidental injury or work-related disease while working in the scope of their duties to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Know to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Bridgeport
After suffering an injury at work, you should immediately report the accident to your manager, supervisor, or employer. This initial report does not start the formal workers’ compensation claims process. Instead, you must provide the Workers’ Compensation Commission with a completed 30C Form.
How Much Aid Workers’ Comp Can Provide in Bridgeport
In addition to suffering a work-related injury, your injury must incapacitate you for at least seven days under §31-295. If you are only incapacitated for a brief period of time, e.g., two days, you are not eligible to receive benefits. Additionally, the amount of money you can receive is capped to the median income for employees in Connecticut for the year your injury occurred under §31-309.
Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims In Bridgeport
According to §31-294c, the State of Connecticut imposes a one-year statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims. This means you have one year from the date of the accident to file your claim. However, if you suffered a work-related disease, you have three years from the date symptoms began to file a claim.
What Benefits Bridgeport Workers’ Comp Provides
There are several benefits you and your family can claim following your workplace injury. According to §31-294d, your employer’s insurance carrier must pay for your medical expenses. In cases of accidental deaths, workers’ compensation insurance pays for funeral and burial expenses under §31-306.
Income Replacement Benefits
Prior to the requirement of workers’ compensation insurance, injured workers who could work had to rely on their families or government assistance. Currently, injured employees who are unable to work or return to work at a full duty capacity can claim Temporary Total Disability benefits (“TTD”) and Temporary Partial Disability benefits (“TPD”) under §31-307 and §31-308(a). TTD will pay you 75% of your pre-injury average weekly wage if you cannot return to work, while TPD pays 75% of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury weekly wage if you are unable to return to work at a full-duty capacity.
Training And Employment Assistance Benefits
You may not be able to return to your prior job due to the severity of your injuries. Pursuant to §31-283a, you can seek vocational rehabilitation benefits. This benefit allows you to undergo training to develop new job skills so you can find new employment comparable to your prior position.
Financial Compensation For Permanent Injuries
Workers’ compensation laws also allow injured employees to seek financial compensation for their workplace injuries. Under §31-307, you can seek Permanent Total Disability benefits (“PTD”) if you are totally incapacitated and receive 75% of your pre-injury weekly salary potentially for the rest of your life. If you are only partially disabled, you can claim Permanent Partial Disability benefits (“PPD”) under §31-308(b) and receive monetary benefits based on your injury and income.
Your Claim with a Bridgeport Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Insurance carriers only make money when they collect premiums from employers and deny or underpay workers’ compensation claims. For this reason, insurers often argue injured victims suffered minor injuries or minimize injuries by arguing injured workers no longer need medical treatment. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Carter Mario can help you build a strong case demonstrating the severity of your injuries and overcome possible defenses such as horseplay, intoxication, or wilful misconduct according to §31-284(a).
Differentiating Factors Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp
There are three primary differences between personal injury claims and workers’ comp claims. First, unlike a workers’ compensation claim, the success of a personal injury claim depends on proving another person’s negligence. Second, you do not have to be an employee to file a personal injury claim.
Third, in most personal injury cases, you must sue the negligent party and try the case in court before you obtain any financial benefit or compensation. In workers’ compensation, you must file a claim which may or may not be paid. The case is tried before the Workers’ Compensation Commission if the claim is contested.
Key Differences with Personal Injury
Winning a personal injury lawsuit requires you to prove all the elements of your lawsuit, i.e., duty, breach, causation, and damages. If you can prove these, you may be eligible for economic damages (your costs) and non-economic damages, such as emotional distress. Non-economic damages are not available to workers’ comp claimants. Last, there is no legal limit to the amount of financial compensation you can obtain in a personal injury case, while workers’ compensation claims have statutory limits according to §31-309.
Important Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
There are circumstances under which you may have both a personal injury case and a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you were driving a company vehicle and were rear-ended by someone else on the road and you were injured, you likely have both a personal injury case and a worker’s compensation claim.
A second example could be if your injury occurred due to a co-worker’s negligence, i.e., you were the passenger in a company vehicle your co-worker was driving. You may have a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim against your co-worker.
A third example could be if you slipped and fell on another person’s property while working. In this scenario, you may have a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the property owner.
Important Elements of a Workers’ Compensation Claim
There are situations where your only remedy is workers’ compensation. For example, if you were injured on your employer’s property, e.g., slipped and fell at work, your claim falls under workers’ compensation. If you were driving a company vehicle and hit someone else, your only remedy is workers’ compensation.
Evaluating What’s Right for You
If you were working and injured by a co-worker’s negligence or a third party’s negligence, you can pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the person who injured you. The benefit of workers’ compensation is you get financial benefits almost immediately. Likewise, the benefit of a personal injury case is you can claim non-economic damages. However, your employer’s insurance carrier can seek reimbursement by placing a lien on your personal injury claim if you pursue a personal injury claim after receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Bridgeport Workers’ Comp FAQ
The time following a workplace accident is stressful and confusing. Using your sick leave and health insurance may be tempting, especially if your employer fails to inform you of your right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. At Carter Mario, our workers’ compensation lawyers provide free consultations for injured workers and their families.
What To Do Following An Accident
You should immediately seek medical treatment for your injuries. It is also important to promptly inform your supervisor and employer of the accident and your injuries. Additionally, you should identify possible witnesses and consult a Bridgeport workers’ compensation lawyer.
How Much Do I Have To Pay For A Bridgeport Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
When you retain Carter Mario, you only have to pay if our workers’ compensation lawyers win your case or negotiate a settlement you approve. This is because we represent injured victims on a contingency fee basis. Additionally, under our Zero Fee Warranty, our legal fee will not exceed the amount of money you receive from your claim.
Put Your Trust in Carter Mario’s Workers’ Comp Attorneys
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Carter Mario have been serving Bridgeport and fighting to protect the rights of injured workers in Connecticut since 1989. Our attorneys know a successful outcome in your workers’ compensation case is essential for you to get the medical treatment you need to heal and rebuild your life. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.