Q: How does Workers’ Compensation work in the state of Connecticut?
A: Workers’ Compensation is designed to protect employees that are injured or exposed to disease while in the course and scope of their employment. It provides wage replacement benefits for lost time from work and covers all related medical bills to treat the injury.
Q: If I am injured at work would I be covered under Workers’ Compensation?
A: If you are deemed an employee and are injured while performing your job, then you will most likely be covered.
Q: Can I file a Workers’ Compensation claim if I contract Covid-19?
A: Yes. However, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont recently issued an executive order protecting health care facilities from civil claims for Covid-19. It is uncertain whether this protection will apply to Workers’ Compensation claims as well. At the very least it will be important to be able to prove that you contracted Covid-19 while working and that it was your particular job duties that caused this exposure. An example would be health care workers who are responsible for taking care of Covid-19 patients.
Q: How do I file a claim?
A: A claim must be filed within one year of the date of the injury, but it is advisable to file it much sooner. There are several forms that you will need to file with both your employer and the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Q: What will happen after I file my claim?
A: Your employer will forward your claim to its insurance company and the company will evaluate your claim and contact you or your attorney.
Q: Will I get in trouble with my employer for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A: It is illegal for an employer to discriminate or take any adverse action against an employee solely based on the fact that they filed a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Q: What will the insurance company do with my claim?
A: Insurance companies routinely deny claims and will most likely give you a hard time as you pursue the claim. These companies are very experienced in dealing with claims and often throw up roadblocks in an effort to discourage you from moving forward. In the case of Covid-19 the insurance companies will question how, when and where you contracted the virus.
Q: Do I need an attorney to represent me in a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits?
A: Given the nature of a claim under Covid-19 the insurance company will most likely be very aggressive in defending these types of claims. These companies will have their own attorneys helping them defend these claims, which would put you at a serious disadvantage if you are unrepresented.
Q: How much will it cost to hire an attorney?
A: Fortunately Workers’ Compensation claims are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will never be asked to pay any attorney’s fees out of your own pocket. The attorney will take a percentage out of some benefits you receive during the case. If the case is not accepted, then there are no attorney’s fees owed.
Connect with any of Cramer & Anderson’s highly-experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys for additional information or a consultation.
Partner Scott McCarthy, who authored this Q&A, guides clients through the complexities of the Workers’ Comp system, including the benefits to which they’re entitled, the information needed from doctors, and how to obtain benefits. His practice also focuses on Personal Injury. Attorney McCarthy is based in the firm’s New Milford office and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (860) 355-2631.
Partner Barry Moller, winner of a 2020 Distinguished Leaders in the Law award, has been a member of the Chairman’s Legal Advisory Committee to the Workers’ Compensation Commission since 2000, and has served on the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association since 1997. Attorney Moller may be reached by email at email@example.com, and by phone at (860) 355-2631.
Partner Jennifer Collins has established a record of success on behalf of clients over nearly 20 years of practice, and her extensive experience with Workers’ Comp issues and cases includes achieving a comp settlement of $1.2 million. Attorney Collins is based in the Danbury office and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at (203) 744-1234.
Partner Chris Sochacki spent nearly two decades practicing as an insurance defense litigator, which gives him particular insights into Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury cases. His experience as a first responder with New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance gives him a unique understanding of the challenges health care workers face amid the coronavirus outbreak. Based in the Litchfield office, he may be reached by email at email@example.com and by phone at (860) 567-8718.
Partner Ken Taylor has broad experience and notable outcomes in Personal Injury Law and Workers’ Compensation cases, and also focuses his practice on Family Law. Known for highly-engaged advocacy on behalf of client in all practice areas, he is based in the New Milford and Ridgefield offices and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and by phone at (860) 355-2631.
Associate Graham Moller offers clients compassionate advocacy throughout the process of seeking reparation, which means pursuing a legal strategy to get clients in Workers’ Comp cases back to where they were before the injury, and back to work. He works in the New Milford office and may be reached by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (860) 355-2631.
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About Cramer & Anderson
Cramer & Anderson LLP serves clients from six offices in western Connecticut (currently closed to the public) with a hometown sensibility and a worldly outlook. The flagship office is located in a historic structure on the Green in New Milford. Additional offices are located in Danbury, Litchfield, Kent, and Washington Depot, and Ridgefield, serving Fairfield County. See the website at crameranderson.com to learn more.