If you get injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation. The process of claiming compensation should be straightforward, but unfortunately, it can often get complicated. As an employee, here's what you need to know about this program.
1. You Can't Get Fired for Making a Workers' Comp Claim
Under federal law, it is illegal for your employer to dismiss you for making a workers' comp claim. If you have been injured on the job, you have a right to make a claim. If your boss threatens or intimidates you away from making a claim, that is illegal.
Additionally, if you believe that you have been dismissed related to a workers' comp claim, you may want to contact an attorney to help you.
2. In Connecticut, Workers' Comp Covers Uninsured Subcontractors
The workers' comp laws vary from state to state, and in most cases, only employees are covered. However, in Connecticut, the coverage is more comprehensive. In fact, employers have to cover both employees and uninsured subcontractors. If you are a freelancer or a subcontractor who has been injured while doing work for a company, you may also be entitled to benefits through this program.
3. Workers' Comp Covers a Range of Injuries
Workers' compensation can cover sudden injuries. For example, if you're on a construction site and a brick falls on your head, that can be covered. Similarly, if you sustain an injury from slipping and falling or if a dog bites you while you're delivering a package, that can also be covered.
However, workers' comp doesn't only cover sudden injuries. It can also cover injuries that have been sustained over time. This may include back strains from doing heavy lifting all day long, carpal tunnel from repetitive motions, or a range of similar injuries.
4. You Should Report All Injuries
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to prove that injuries you sustained slowly over time were related to work, and your employer's insurance company may argue that the injuries weren't related to your job. Because of that, it's essential to report all injuries.
Anytime you get injured on the job, you should file a report with your boss or your human resources department. If you see a medical professional, you should also get a copy of your records. That creates a paper trail that makes it easier to file a claim eventually down the road.
5. Workers' Comp Cases Can Turn Into Wrongful Death Cases
If someone dies as a result of injuries sustained while at work, their dependents may be entitled to payments through the workers' compensation program. However, in some cases, death on the job may constitute wrongful death. Your attorney can help you figure out the best direction to take your case.
6. Employers Are Subject to Fines for Not Carrying Workers' Compensation Coverage
If you are an employer, it's critical to have workers' compensation coverage in place. Failure to get this coverage can result in fines or penalties. As an employee, if you hear that your employer doesn't have coverage, you may want to speak up.
Note that you can't be fired for that either. If an employer dismisses you for being a "whistleblower," that's also against federal law.
7. You Have the Right to Appeal
If your workers' compensation claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal. However, in Connecticut, you only have 20 days to appeal. You need to act quickly.
To ensure your workers' comp claim or appeal is successful, it helps to work with a professional. Contact us today to learn more. At Law Offices of Esposito & Annunziata, we provide a range of services with a specialization in workers' comp claims.