Connecticut Workers' Compensation Injury Attorney
Injured on the job in Connecticut? Then you need a workers' compensation attorney. Dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of such an incident can be overwhelming. Obtaining compensation for work injures is subject to a complex the legal process that requires an in-depth understanding of the law to navigate. However, with the expertise and guidance of an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney like Mark DellaValle, you can be confident that your rights will be protected and your interests represented. Mark DellaValle is dedicated to helping individuals in Norwalk, Bridgeport, New Haven, Milford, and across the state seek the compensation they deserve for work injuries. With his unwavering commitment and in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Mark Makes It Right.
If you suffer an injury while working you are entitled to medical and financial benefits commonly referred to as worker compensation benefits. This is true regardless of fault. For example, if you fall and break your leg at work because you forgot to tie your shoes, you are still eligible to receive worker compensation benefits. However, in no situation are you entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
Following a workplace injury you are entitled to have your medical bills paid and receive a portion of your wages (75% of your after tax average weekly wages after deductions for federal and state taxes as well as FICA deductions) while you are out of work recuperating from your injury.
You are also entitled to be paid benefits for any permanent impairment you suffered. If you are released by your doctor for “light or restricted duty” and your employer does not have that type of work you are eligible for benefits while you are looking for a new job. In addition, you may be eligible for benefits if you take a lower paying job or are unable to find a job after your permanent impairment benefits expire.
Your worker compensation claim “comp claim” remains open unless you enter into a full and final settlement with your employer and its insurance company. If you suffer a future recurrence or relapse of your work related injury, you are still entitled to medical treatment and financial benefits if your comp claim is still open.
Types of Work Injuries in Connecticut Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Cases
Work injuries can encompass a wide range of incidents, varying in severity and nature. Some common types of work injuries in Connecticut include:
Slip and Fall Accidents:
Slip and fall accidents are prevalent in many workplaces and can occur due to wet or uneven surfaces, debris, inadequate lighting, or improper safety precautions. These accidents can result in injuries such as sprains, fractures, head injuries, and back injuries.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)
RSIs are caused by repetitive motions, forceful exertions, or prolonged periods of the same movement. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, and back strains. These injuries often develop over time and can significantly impact an employee's ability to perform their job duties.
Employees who work with heavy machinery or equipment are at risk of serious injuries if proper safety measures are not in place. Machinery accidents can lead to crushed limbs, amputations, severe lacerations, or even fatalities. Employers have a responsibility to provide appropriate training, safety protocols, and maintenance to prevent such incidents.
Construction sites are inherently dangerous environments. Falls from heights, scaffolding collapses, electrocutions, and being struck by falling objects are some of the common accidents that occur in the construction industry. These accidents often result in severe injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.
Work-related illnesses can develop over time due to exposure to hazardous substances or conditions in the workplace. Examples include respiratory diseases from inhaling toxic fumes, hearing loss from prolonged noise exposure, and occupational cancers resulting from exposure to carcinogens. These illnesses may not manifest immediately, making it important for employees to be aware of potential hazards in their work environment.
Types of Benefits in Connecticut Workers' Comp Cases
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in Connecticut is imperative if you want your claim to be properly prepared, submitted, and (if necessary) challenged. Understanding the types of benefits available can help you determine if filing a claim is something you would like to pursue.
In Connecticut, the state offers a comprehensive workers' compensation program featuring different types of disability benefits. These benefits are designed to cover a portion of lost wages due to an injury. Here's a detailed overview of these benefits, aimed to enhance your understanding and aid navigation through this system:
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits
TPD benefits are offered to workers whose injuries restrict, but do not entirely halt their ability to work. In essence, these benefits serve to bridge the gap in earnings caused by reduced working capacity. Specifically, TPD benefits cover 75% of the wage difference between pre and post-injury earnings, ensuring a degree of financial continuity during the worker's period of adjustment.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
TTD benefits cater to situations where an injury temporarily incapacitates a worker, preventing them from performing any work-related duties. These benefits amount to 75% of the worker's average weekly earnings after taxes. However, if the disability period is less than a week, these benefits aren't distributed for the initial three days of work absence.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
In cases where an employee suffers a work-related injury leading to the permanent loss of function or significant use of a particular body part, PPD benefits apply. These benefits, defined in the Connecticut workers' compensation schedule, depend on the specific body part affected and the degree of functional loss. Should the worker retain some function of the affected body part, benefits are proportionally adjusted.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits
When an injury leads to a complete and permanent disability that prevents a worker from returning to any kind of gainful employment, PTD benefits become applicable. Examples of such conditions include the loss of both hands, both feet, or mental disability caused by a head or brain injury. PTD benefits correspond to 75% of a worker's weekly wages after tax, with eligible workers potentially receiving these benefits for life.
Discretionary benefits may be available to workers who continue to experience wage loss due to their injuries after their PPD payments end. These benefits fill 75% of the gap between the pre and post-injury weekly wage, after tax. The duration of these benefits can extend up to 250 weeks, depending on the magnitude of the wage losses.
In the unfortunate event that a work-related injury results in the death of a worker, their dependents may qualify for death benefits. These benefits typically amount to 75% of the worker's average weekly earnings after taxes. Additionally, workers' compensation insurance may cover up to $4,000 towards funeral and burial expenses.
What Your Employer's Workers' Compensation Carrier Won't Tell You
If you are injured during the course of your employment, your employer’s worker compensation insurance carrier will pay for your medical treatment. The insurance company will assign a representative to your case commonly referred to as the adjuster. While most adjusters are polite, their duty of loyalty is to your employer and to the insurance company’s bottom line. Most adjusters will not inform you of the following important information:
You can choose your doctor with some caveats.
If your employer has designated a medical practitioner your initial visit must be with that physician. Further, if your employer has established a preferred provider organization or “PPO” plan you must chose a doctor participating in that plan.
You are entitled to an evaluation to determine if you have suffered a permanent impairment for which you can receive additional financial benefits.
The last thing an insurer wants its to pay for a permanent impairment. But you have an absolute right to an evaluation to determine if you have one that would make you eligible for significant benefits.
You are entitled to travel expense reimbursement to go to and from medical appointments, treatment and testing.
As of January 1, 2013 the mileage reimbursement rate is .56.5 cents per mile. There is a standard mileage form on line at the CT Worker Compensation website.
You should file a formal Notice of Injury also known as a Form 30C Claim form.
This form should be sent by certified mail to both your employer and the worker compensation district where the injury occurred. Simply filling out your employer’s “accident report” is not sufficient. The Form 30C ensures that you have properly filed a worker compensation claim, which if timely filed, satisfies the statute of limitations
You should have a Voluntary Agreement known as a “VA” drafted and executed by you and the insurance company.
The VA is an official worker compensation form which establishes the calculations to determine the worker compensation benefit rate. It also includes the names and address of the injured person, employer, insurance carrier, date of injury, and description of the injury. It is not a final settlement and it says so on the VA form.
The attorney fees for a worker compensation claim are 20%.
This is significantly less than 33.33% fees normally charged for other personal injury claims. Further, this fee is contingent or depends upon the attorney obtaining permanent impairment benefits for you. The fee is also charged if the attorney is able to settle your case by of a full and final stipulation. There is no fee taken while you are recuperating from your initial injury and are receiving out of work temporary total (TT) disability benefits. The only exception would be if your employer refuses to pay TT benefits because it denies the injury occurred at work. In that case a hearing would be held and if you prevailed the attorney would be entitled to 20% of the TT benefits up until the date of the hearing.
You are entitled to benefits even if you have a pre-existing injury.
Your employer takes you in the state of health that if finds you. Meaning, if it is shown that the work related event substantially aggravated a pre-existing condition your employer’s insurance carrier cannot refuse to pay your worker compensation claim. It does become more complicated if you have a pre-existing impairment rating to the same body part and received compensation for it. In that situation, your employer would only be responsible for the increase of the impairment rating amount. If you were not compensated for the prior injury, your employer would be responsible for the entire impairment rating.
Call a Connecticut Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Navigating through a workers' compensation claim can be a confusing and stressful journey, fraught with complex procedures, intricate paperwork, and countless legal considerations. With so much at stake, securing expert legal counsel is crucial. If you're grappling with a workers' compensation case in Connecticut—whether you're in Bridgeport, New Haven, Milford, or Norwalk—now is the time to call Attorney Mark DellaValle.
Mark DellaValle isn't just a seasoned attorney; he practices nearly-exclusively in personal injury law with a proven track record in handling workers' compensation cases. With Mark on your side, you can be sure that you will receive not only professional advice but also effective representation that focuses on making things right.
Suffering from an injury can already be a debilitating experience. Dealing with medical appointments, managing physical discomfort, and coping with the emotional toll of an accident is challenging enough without adding the intricacies of a compensation claim into the mix. This is why Attorney DellaValle works tirelessly to shoulder the legal burden, allowing you to focus on what truly matters—your recovery.
But why is it crucial to call today? It's simple: the sooner you act, the stronger your case can be. From the moment an accident occurs, the clock begins ticking on crucial deadlines for filing a workers' compensation claim. Promptly seeking legal advice ensures you're equipped to meet these deadlines and protects your rights to claim the benefits you deserve.
Moreover, Attorney DellaValle understands that every case is unique. By reaching out today, you provide him with the opportunity to familiarize himself with the nuances of your situation. This allows for the development of a tailored strategy aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for you. It's this personalized approach that sets Mark DellaValle apart, especially in bustling cities like Bridgeport or New Haven, where individual attention can sometimes get lost in the crowd.
The professional, attentive service that Mark DellaValle provides isn't limited to larger cities. Whether you're in the heart of Norwalk, living in Milford, or elsewhere in Connecticut, you can expect the same level of dedication and expertise. His commitment to delivering justice knows no boundaries, and he's driven by a genuine desire to help people overcome their legal challenges and attain the compensation they're rightfully entitled to.
As someone deeply familiar with the impact of work-related injuries, Attorney DellaValle understands the urgency that accompanies these cases. Lost wages, growing medical bills, and the prospect of permanent injury can create an overwhelming sense of anxiety. By choosing to call Mark DellaValle today, you're choosing to take proactive steps towards securing your financial future and finding peace of mind.
With Mark DellaValle at your side, you're not just gaining a lawyer; you're gaining a steadfast ally who will fight for your rights, guide you through each step of your claim, and advocate for the best possible resolution.
So don't delay—pick up the phone and call today. Regardless of whether you're in Bridgeport, New Haven, Milford, or Norwalk, if you're dealing with a workers' compensation case in Connecticut, you need an experienced, dedicated, and compassionate attorney on your side. Let Mark DellaValle be that attorney for you. Reach out today to start your journey towards the compensation you rightfully deserve.