A worker who was cutting trees for the state of Connecticut was seriously injured in a chainsaw accident recently. Police and firefighters responded to the scene of the accident, near Interstate-395 in Waterford, and the highway was closed as a helicopter ambulance arrived to transport the man to a hospital.

The man was working for Asplundh, a company under contract with the state, cutting trees alongside the highway, according to the Department of Transportation. An accident with a chainsaw reportedly left the man with a severe injury to his neck.

Workers who are injured in an accident at work may be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages through the workers’ compensation benefits program. This system is generally meant to replace the need for personal injury lawsuits based upon workplace accidents. Workers don’t have to prove negligence on the part of their employer in order to collect benefits, but their benefits are more limited than the award might be if they won a lawsuit against the employer. What’s more, once the employee collects the benefits, the employee is generally barred from suing the employer over the same injury.

This situation gets a little more complicated in cases involving contractors and multiple parties. For example, at a large job site where there are multiple contracting companies at work, injured employees may collect workers’ compensation from their own employer but, in some cases, may also file suit against a third party who may have some liability for the injury that occurred. In other cases, the contractor relationship may confuse the issue as to whether the employee is covered by workers’ compensation.

There are many possible variables in making a workers’ compensation claim, especially when the injury stems from a complicated work situation. It’s important for injured Connecticut workers to get help understanding how the system can work for them in order to get the benefits they need.

Source: CBS Connecticut, “Tree Worker Injured Near I-395,” Aug. 2, 2013