Common Questions About Workers’ Rights
Turned down for workers’ compensation benefits? Receiving all the benefits you are entitled to under state law? Pressured to return to work before you are healed, or suffering retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
I have practiced law in Connecticut since 1993. I have helped hundreds of victims of workplace accidents and on-the-job injuries obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Contact me, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will explain your rights and vigorously protect your interests, and fight the insurance companies for every last dollar you deserve.
The information below is meant to address common questions for further discussion with legal counsel. It is not intended as legal advice and should not take the place of contacting a qualified lawyer who practices in this field.
What Injuries Qualify For Workers’ Compensation?
- Any accident or injury occurring at your workplace during the course and scope of your employment
- An injury suffered off-site in the course of performing duties for your employer (e.g., auto accident, construction injury)
- Any illness that develops over time from work-related duties (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive trauma)
What Benefits Can I Collect?
You may be entitled to some or all of the following benefits:
- Medical bills — Workers’ compensation will pay your hospital, doctor and other health care providers for all necessary medical treatment of a work-related accident, occupational injury or illness, including surgery, medical equipment, medication and physical therapy ordered by your doctor.
- Lost wages — Your benefits are computed from your average weekly wages (including any overtime) over the last 52 weeks. If you suffer relapse or reoccurrence of the injury, you will be paid for those days missed. If you are unable to work at all, you will receive temporary total disability benefits. If you are able to work in some capacity, you may still receive temporary partial disability benefits.
- Permanent disability — If you suffered a permanent loss of function or injury to a part of your body, you can collect permanent partial disability benefits, depending on the extent of the injury. These may be paid as a lump sum or as weekly benefits.
- Vocational rehabilitation — If you are not physically capable of returning to work because of your injury, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation assistance to be retrained for other employment.
- Death benefits — If a person died from a work-related injury or illness, the spouse and dependent children may receive survivor benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Workers’ compensation was established to replace lawsuits against employers or co-workers for workplace injury. You can only sue your employer in very limited cases of intentionally caused harm.
You may have a third-party personal injury claim against a manufacturer of unsafe tools, machines or equipment; against the owner or operator of an automobile that caused your accident; or a property owner where your accident occurred. The Law Offices of Wesley M. Malowitz can evaluate the viability of any potential third-party claim.
What If My Claim Is Denied?
Claims are routinely denied by employers’ insurance companies. The reasons vary: improper documentation, incomplete records, missed deadlines, challenging the diagnosis or rejecting the injury as not work-related. Whatever the reason, you need a qualified attorney familiar with the Connecticut workers’ compensation system.
At the Law Offices of Wesley M. Malowitz, I represent clients at every stage of the process:
- Investigation and evaluation of each potential workers’ compensation claim
- Initial filing of the workers’ compensation claim
- Coordinating with the insurance company to secure authorized medical treatment and wage reimbursement
- Informal and formal (trial-type) hearings before the workers’ compensation district offices
- Securing benefits for permanent injury or disability when medical treatment ends
- Evaluating and negotiating your claim for settlement
I will fight for your rightful benefits, including back pay to the date of the injury and payment of all related medical expenses.
Can My Employer Make Me Go Back To Work?
You cannot be pressured to return to work before you have recovered and been released to return to work by your doctor. Your doctor can provide a written opinion of your prognosis for recovery. Your employer can challenge the medical opinion, but you cannot be harassed or threatened into going back to your job.
Can I Be Fired For Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you were terminated, demoted or encouraged to resign for filing a work injury claim, contact me immediately. I have represented many workers in retaliatory discharge claims, obtaining back pay, reinstatement and other remedies. You are legally protected in applying for workers’ compensation benefits, and I will stand behind you 100 percent in exercising your rights.
Questions About Workers’ Comp?
Contact my Stamford law office for a further discussion of your workers’ compensation rights in a free consultation by calling 866-539-5781 or 203-517-0110. You may also fill out my online contact form.
If you were hurt at work and your employer is harassing you, or the insurance company will not approve your claim, contact me to speak with a veteran workers’ compensation attorney who will provide you with experienced and aggressive representation.
Verdicts & Settlements
36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.
1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.
47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.
34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.
40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.
26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.
24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.
Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.
22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.
Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.
28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.
54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.
CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.
68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.
34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.
80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.
38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.
Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.
$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.
47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.
26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.