When an employee suffers an injury on the job, one of the first concerns is often how they will pay the bills while they are unable to work. Workers’ compensation benefits are supposed to fill this gap but navigating through the claims process can be difficult. Relying on the guidance of a Bridgeport workers’ compensation lawyer might be the most effective means of getting those benefits. Having a dedicated personal injury attorney who handles workers compensation cases on your side could be vital to achieving a successful claim that pays your medical bills and provides you with income while you are unable to work.
What Does a Workers’ Compensation Claim Entail?
If an employee suffers injuries while in the course of their employment, workers’ compensation benefits should be available. Unlike other personal injury cases, filing a workers’ compensation claim does not require employees to show that their employers were at fault for their injuries, only that they were injured on the job.
It is important to note that in some situations an individual may have the option to seek workers’ compensation benefits in addition to filing a personal injury claim. For example, an employee injured in a motor vehicle accident while in the course of employment may collect workers compensation while at the same time suing the at fault party; or an employee who sustained injuries while using a defective product or machinery could claim workers’ compensation and pursue damages from the product manufacturers. Another exception to this rule occurs when the employer intentionally tried to cause harm. In this case, the employer may be sued directly. A skilled Bridgeport attorney could help someone determine what their options are if they wish to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Challenges Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Although the claims process can be relatively straightforward, the road to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is not always smooth. Employers may drag their feet in processing claims or attempt to get workers to drop their claims. Some employers may deny that the injuries occurred while on the job, that the individual intentionally injured themselves, or that the injuries stemmed from behavior unrelated to job duties.
Another potential challenge may occur if the insurance company for the employer denies legitimate claims for medical expenses because they believe the claimant’s injuries to be unrelated to the accident. If workers do not get approval for treatment beforehand, they risk not having the treatment covered. An injured worker only has 1 year to file a Form 30C, which initiates the workers compensation claim, and preserves the claim. The failure to properly file within the 1 year time period may preclude an injured worker from receiving workers compensation benefits. An injury lawyer in the area can help someone face any challenges that may arise during their workers’ compensation claim process.
Workers Compensation Benefits
If the insurance company approves the claim, an injured worker may be entitled to weekly benefits to replace their lost income and pay for medical expenses. Depending on the permanency and severity of the injuries, available benefits could differ significantly. A permanent medical condition could be partially or wholly disabling, making a difference in determining the appropriate amount of benefits.
Any degree of permanent disability may qualify workers for disability payments. Insurance companies calculate the appropriate amount of benefits based on the percentage of disability and the average number of weeks needed for recovery, as per the workers’ compensation guidelines. Due to the complexity of calculating workers’ compensation benefits, contacting a local injury attorney could be beneficial.
Contact an Attorney for Advice
It is common for there to be confusion regarding whether someone has grounds for an injury claim. In this situation, getting the advice and counsel of a Bridgeport workers’ compensation lawyer may prove to be advantageous.
While you focus your efforts on your physical and mental rehabilitation following a devastating accident at work, your legal counsel could work toward the financial benefits you need. Reach out to Attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. now to see if you are eligible to recover damages.