Understanding The Benefits Available To Injured Workers

If you have suffered an injury in the workplace, you are probably facing a number of financial challenges. During this difficult time, it is normal for injured workers to wonder what kind of compensation they can expect from a workers' compensation lawsuit, and how much money they will receive.

The Connecticut workers' compensation system provides a number of benefits to injured employees, ensuring that they have the resources they need to recover from their injuries and get back on the job. However, it is not always easy to recover the full compensation to which you are entitled. In many situations, it pays to have an experienced workers' compensation attorney at your side.

The lawyers at the Law Offices of James L. O'Rourke have decades of experience handling injury claims for workers across Fairfield and New Haven counties. If you have suffered an injury, our law firm will help you understand what benefits you are entitled to, and ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.

What Benefits Does Workers' Compensation Offer?

Workers' compensation provides a range of benefits for those who have suffered an injury in the workplace. Those benefits include:

  • Medical bills: The workers' compensation system will repay your medical expenses in full, ensuring that you have the resources to pursue a full and complete recovery. These medical expenses include doctor visits, surgical costs, emergency transportation, physical rehabilitation costs and other related expenses.
  • Lost wages: If you miss work time as a result of your injuries, you are entitled to receive a portion of your lost wages. You will also receive benefits if you return to work in a light duty role that pays less than your previous position. The value of these benefits varies depending on the severity and duration of your disability; for a precise calculation, speak to an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: If you are no longer able to pursue your chosen profession after a serious accident, you may receive a voucher to cover some of the costs associated with job retraining.
  • Death benefits: The workers' compensation system provides compensation to the surviving spouses and children of workers who are killed on the job. Workers' compensation also covers burial costs.

What Benefits Are Not Offered?

For a worker severely injured on the job, workers' compensation is often a key source of financial support during recovery and rehabilitation. A workers' compensation program is a state-operated and guaranteed insurance plan that covers medical bills and replaces lost wages for employees.

But many workers' compensation programs limit benefits for seriously injured employees. Most replace, at maximum, only two-thirds of salary, exclude fringe benefits, and may be capped for cost-of-living adjustments. Workers' compensation also usually offers no or little compensation for pain and suffering, including psychological consequences associated with a workplace injury. For example, workers' compensation does not repay workers for the emotional trauma that they may have suffered as a result of a workplace accident.

Seriously injured workers face other restrictions as well. Workers' compensation benefits may be cut or ended if the worker is judged to still be able to earn money. Employers may also require a worker to take additional medical and vocational examinations to assess the extent of disability and lost earning power.

Injured workers, confronted by restrictions imposed by workers' compensation plans, can seek legal counsel, which can sometimes identify other sources of financial compensation and recovery equal to the cost of the employee's injuries. In some cases, investigating the accident scene and talking to witnesses can lead to third-party claims for compensation.

What Do All The Different Terms Mean?

What is the difference between total, partial, temporary and permanent benefits? Here are the basics:

  • Temporary total disability — These benefits are available to employees who are unable to do any kind of work while they recover from their injuries.
  • Temporary partial disability — These benefits are for those who can do some kind of work, but they aren't able to go back to their normal job quite yet.
  • Permanent partial disability — If an employee suffers a permanent injury of some kind, he or she may be eligible for these benefits.

Helping You Claim The Compensation You Deserve

Though workers' compensation provides a wide range of important benefits, claiming those benefits in full is not always easy. Employers and their insurers often push very hard to limit the compensation they pay out to injured workers.

At the Law Offices of James L. O'Rourke, our lawyers will help you push back. As your law firm, we will work closely with you to build an effective case and protect your right to claim compensation. To schedule a free consultation at one of our three convenient office locations, contact us online or call 203-864-4427. We serve clients across southwestern Connecticut, including workers in Stratford, Bridgeport, Stamford, Shelton and the surrounding areas.