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Can workers' compensation cover out-of-state injuries?

Connecticut's worker's compensation system is administered by the state government for the benefit of people who live and work in Connecticut. Still, workers' compensation may cover injuries that happen out of state if there is a significant relationship between the state where the claim is filed and the location of the employment. In some instances, work-related injuries may happen out of state, particularly for workers whose jobs require them to travel, like truck drivers.

Last year, the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission heard a case in which a Connecticut resident employed as a truck driver suffered injuries during the course of his employment. The truck driver, who primarily worked out of his employer's Pennsylvania hub, suffered from a back injury while he was working in New Jersey. The employer, which is headquartered in Iowa, began paying workers' compensation benefits under New Jersey law.

The truck driver sought to obtain workers' compensation benefits under Connecticut law. In this specific situation, the truck driver brought his truck home to Connecticut on the weekends when he was not working, and he often picked up deliveries near his Connecticut home. The commission found that a significant relationship existed between Connecticut and the truck driver's employment and based on this significant relationship, he could receive workers' compensation benefits under Connecticut's system.

As this recent case indicates, complications may arise for an employee seeking workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury. Most workers who are seeking compensation for a work injury never have to appeal their case before the Workers' Compensation Commission, but as this case indicates, it can be necessary when complicated issues arise. An attorney experienced in workers' compensation law can assist an injured worker seeking benefits at any stage in the process.

Source: Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, "Johnson v. Heartland Express, Inc.," accessed Feb. 27, 2015

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