If you have been injured in the workplace, you are probably aware that you have the right to claim compensation. But what if you are injured while driving between work sites? What if you are hurt during a company party? What if your injuries are your own fault?
The eligibility criteria are much broader than most people think. If you believe that your injuries are not covered, you may be mistaken.
At the Law Offices of James L. O'Rourke, our workers' compensation lawyers can help you determine whether your injuries are covered. When you schedule a free consultation at our law firm, a member of our experienced legal team will work with you one-on-one to answer any questions you may have and help you take the next steps. Call 203-864-4427 to get started.
In general, all injuries and illnesses suffered while performing your job duties are covered under workers' compensation. Or, to put it a different way, if you were injured working for the benefit of your employer, you can claim compensation. Common accidents and injuries include:
- Construction accidents
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Injuries from industrial equipment
- Chemical exposure
- Car accidents
- Repetitive stress injuries
You must be an employee to claim coverage — volunteers and independent contractors cannot seek workers' compensation when injured. Sometimes, however, employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors, robbing these workers of the ability to claim workers' compensation benefits. If you feel you may have been misclassified, speak to an attorney.
What If The Accident Was My Fault?
Workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance policy. This means your injuries are covered, even if you yourself are responsible for them.
This is even true if you were breaking workplace regulations at the time of your injury. If, for example, you suffered an injury because you failed to wear safety goggles in a hazardous laboratory, it is likely that you can still claim compensation.
What If I Am In A Car Accident?
Traffic accidents are a common cause of workers' compensation claims. If you were injured while driving as part of your work duties, your injuries will be covered under Connecticut's workers' compensation system. Common examples include:
- Long-haul truckers
- Delivery personnel
- Traveling salespeople
- Repair or construction crews driving from one site to another
However, injuries suffered while commuting to or from work are generally not covered.
I Have A Repetitive Stress Injury. Can I Claim Compensation?
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are medical conditions that develop gradually as the result of repeated motions. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendinitis. RSIs are a common hazard in many workplaces, especially if workers are not given the opportunity to take periodic breaks.
Repetitive stress injuries are covered by workers' compensation. However, these cases can be more difficult to prove than other types of injury cases. Those who suffer from an RSI should take care to follow their attorney's instructions to the letter.
If you have developed an RSI, it is also important that you report it to your employer as soon as possible. Early reporting is key both for treating the injury and for building an effective workers' compensation case. If you fail to report the injury in a timely fashion or if you skip doctor's visits, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are less severe than they truly are. Your workers' compensation attorney can help you avoid this type of mistake.
Get An Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney On Your Side
The workers' compensation eligibility rules are broad. If you are a company's employee and you were injured while working for that company, you will almost certainly be covered. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get the full compensation to which you are entitled. Insurance companies make it their job to limit the amount of money they pay out to injured workers.
At the Law Offices of James L. O'Rourke, we make it our job to ensure our clients get the money they deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation at one of our three office locations, call 203-864-4427 or contact us online. Our Bridgeport-area attorneys are available for home and hospital visits upon request. Spanish translation services are available.