Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system is designed to make sure that workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses get the benefits they need to cope with medical expenses and lost wages without having to resort to a lawsuit. Thus, a worker who suffers injuries at work and then collects workers’ compensation benefits is typically prohibited from filing a lawsuit over the same incident. There are exceptions to this rule, however. One of them involves work-related injuries that were caused by a third party.

Recently, a supermarket employee was seriously injured when a driver lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the store. According to witnesses, the employee had just finished her shift at the store and was grabbing a shopping cart when the car suddenly lurched forward and hit her.

In Connecticut cases like this one, an injured worker may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and may also be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits from the employer.

Perhaps complicating matters is the fact that the employee had apparently finished her shift at the supermarket when the accident occurred. Workers’ compensation benefits are for work-related injuries, an employee who is injured during a day off from work may not be able to collect benefits for that injury. However, when the injury occurs at the workplace shortly after finishing a shift, the employee may be able to successfully argue that the injury should be covered by workers’ compensation.

The workers’ compensation system can be very good for injured workers, but it can also be complicated, especially when an employer or an insurance company refuses to honor a claim.

Source: Connecticut Post, “Supermarket worker hit by car, seriously injured,” Nov. 13, 2013