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What is a First Report of Injury?

Employment laws in Connecticut require employers to file a report with the Workers’ Compensation Commission if an employee has suffered a work-related injury or illness that results in missing time from work for one or more days.

Employers in the state of Connecticut must report the date and time of an employee’s injury, as well as any notice that is received from the employee who is filing a workers’ comp claim. Details regarding the accident, insurance that the company will provide for the employee, and the company’s contribution requirements for the plan need to be included.

It doesn’t matter if the illness or injury is compensable under workers’ compensation – the report still must be filed. If the employer does not file as required, the amount of the employee’s workers’ compensation could increase.

When Do I Need to File a First Report?

Employers must submit the report within seven days of notification of a worker’s injury. Companies need to use the form titled “Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness.”

Why Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

If you are suffering from a work-related injury or illness, you may be wondering if you should seek legal representation to file a workers’ compensation claim. It all depends on the seriousness of your injury, the complexity of your case, and the actions of your employer or their insurer.

An attorney can help you in the following situations:

  • Your workers’ compensation claim is denied. Insurance companies and employers will often reject workers’ comp claims in an effort to save money, thinking that employees may decide not to appeal. Obtaining legal counsel will give the best chance to obtain a fair settlement for your injuries.
  • The settlement offer from workers’ comp isn’t enough to cover lost wages or medical bills. If you believe that your settlement offer is not enough to cover your expenses, it is best not to let a workers’ compensation judge make the final decision. To get the best settlement possible, you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
  • Your illness or injury caused permanent disability. You may have suffered a permanent disability – whether partial or total – and this prevents you from performing your job or even returning to work at all. Insurers may try to stop payments or avoid paying you a settlement.
  • Your employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ comp claim. If your employer has fired or demoted you, reduced your pay or hours, or participated in some type of discrimination because you filed a workers’ comp claim.
  • Your injury occurred due to a third party’s actions or your employer’s misconduct. You are allowed compensation outside of workers’ compensation in certain situations, including when someone other than your employer contributed to your injury (for example, a negligent driver that caused a car accident while you were driving on the job), if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, or your employer’s negligent actions caused your injury.

A workers’ compensation lawyer will know to gather the evidence needed to support your claim, as well as negotiate effectively with your employer and the insurer to make sure you get the benefits you are owed. Turn to the workers’ compensation attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for the experienced assistance you need to get the benefits you are owed. Call us at (203) 397-1283 to schedule a free consultation today. 


How to File Your Workers’ Comp Claim to Get Temporary Disability Benefits

Injured Worker - Workers CompensationMost people have heard of workers’ compensation, but don’t know what it is or how it works. Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy provided by your employer. You don’t fill out an application or take any physical exams to be covered, and you don’t need to know anything about it until you need it. That’s when you learn about the process, which can be confusing. The good news is that the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can provide you with guidance and representation if you need it.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation helps people who’ve been hurt on the job. It pays for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disabilities from traumatic injuries like a broken bone or cumulative conditions like repetitive stress injuries. It also covers sickness from exposure to dangerous substances or conditions in the workplace. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault for the injury: the only qualifier is that it happens while you’re performing work duties.

How to Get Compensation

No matter what type of damage you’ve suffered, there’s a specific process you need to follow. It starts by notifying your employer. They’ll file an “Employer’s First Report of Injury” with the Workers’ Compensation Commission and their insurer, and send a copy to you. You’re responsible for filling out a form called a “Notice of Claim for Compensation (FORM 30c), which gets filed with the Workers’ Compensation Commission and your employer within a year of the injury or onset of occupational illness.

Your employer has 28 days to either accept or deny your claim or make payments “without prejudice” meaning they haven’t made a final decision but will pay in the meantime. Your employer may not respond, which is interpreted as acceptance.

What are Temporary Disability Payments, and How Do I Get Them?

Once you’ve been seen by a doctor, your benefits cover reasonable and necessary medical treatments and expenses, and you may eligible for temporary disability payments, which replace wages you aren’t earning while you’re recovering. In Connecticut, temporary disability payments are currently 75 percent of your average weekly wages, up to a maximum benefit of $1,287.00.

To make sure you get the benefits you deserve, follow all these steps. If your employer or their insurer denies your claim, you may need representation to make sure that you’re treated fairly. If so, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We’re here to help


7 Rungs of Ladder Safety

ladderOf all the injuries that can occur on the job, ladder accidents are among the most common and the most deadly. Approximately 200 American construction workers die each year following ladder accidents, and 10,000 more are injured by serious falls from ladders. Though workers’ compensation is there to provide for medical expenses and wage loss in the face of this type of accident, it is always better to take proactive steps to prevent these types of accidents from taking place. By learning the basics of ladder safety and making sure that you’re working with the right equipment, you can go a long way towards keeping yourself and your fellow workers safe.

There are seven basic rules that anybody using a ladder should know. They are:

  1. Make sure that before climbing a ladder, it extends three feet above the surface you are trying to reach.
  2. Whenever possible, secure the top of the ladder.
  3. When climbing a ladder, never have fewer than three points of contact, whether that is two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
  4. Do not climb a ladder that has any rungs missing or that are broken.
  5. When setting a ladder up to climb, the angle should be set so that the bottom is one foot back for every four feet that you will be climbing.
  6. Whenever possible, secure the bottom of the ladder.
  7. Avoid carrying tools or materials up or down a ladder, and if you need to carry materials, make sure that the ladder is rated for the weight of the climber plus the materials or tools.

Other important safety rules for ladder use include:

  • Do not climb a ladder if you are feeling dizzy or fatigued
  • Do not use ladders in high winds or electrical storms
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes with sturdy bottoms when climbing a ladder.
  • Unless a ladder is designed for more than one person, there should only be one person at a time on a ladder.
  • Do not position a ladder in front of a door that can be opened towards the ladder. If a door is present, take action to block it while there is somebody on the ladder.
  • Be sure to read the safety guidelines on the ladder.

If you are injured on the job in a ladder accident, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can make sure you get the compensation you need. Contact us today to set up a convenient appointment.

 


What Workers Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Coverage

work injury hazardDespite so many working in the workforce, few understand the intricacies that come with Workers’ Compensation coverage for workers. To begin with, these benefits are on a no-fault basis. That means if the actions of an employee led to their injury, they can still be covered. This is one of the most common misconceptions as many believe it has to be the fault of the employer in order to be covered.

This is not the case. Instead, the benefits are meant to help workers recover and return to the workforce to help both the worker and the employer. There are also many other misconceptions when it comes to these benefits, as listed below.

Health Insurance

The employer is not required to continue to pay for health insurance for the insured worker. However, Workers’ Compensation does include medical coverage. That being said, the medical coverage is only for medical conditions that come as a result of the injury. It is also important to note that there are rights under the FMLA and COBRA that offer protection to workers, but it is not explicitly under Workers’ Compensation.

Hearing Loss

There are cases where hearing loss would be compensable under the Act. If there is long-term exposure to noise that could lead to hearing loss, the worker could be entitled to collect benefits. Also, being retired does not necessarily exclude workers from benefits for the hearing loss. However, the claim for benefits does have to be filed for within three years of the last exposure. If damage is extensive, there are other ways compensation can be pursued.

Scars

Of course, a typical scar is not compensable such as a paper cut scar on a finger. However, a worker may be entitled to benefits if a work injury led to facial scarring and disfigurement. This could also include surgical scars from neck surgery or other surgery from a work injury.

Benefits Cannot Stop Without Notice

In order for Workers’ Compensation benefits to end, there has to be a Notice of Modification/Suspension or the worker must return to work. There is also the possibility of the worker signing a Supplemental Agreement. However, unless one of those circumstances is true, benefits must be paid by the insurance company until a Judge determines the worker is no longer entitled to them.

If you do receive a Petition to Terminate, Modify or Suspend benefits, it’s prudent to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our team today if you are concerned about the continuation of the benefits you deserve for your work injury. We will fight for your rights to help aid your recovery.


Can You Be Fired for Calling Your Boss a Profane Name on Social Media?

While we have the right to freedom of speech, most people recognize it has its limits. However, those limits might be further out there than many realize. Whether a worker can insult their boss and their boss’s family on social media has come into the limelight recently and has given both a yes and a no answer to the question.

In a recent decision by the Second Circuit, which covers Connecticut, a ruling answered if an employer can fire an employee during a union organizing drive if they use profanity, specifically when the profanity is aimed at the boss and their family. In the case, a particularly disgruntled employee communicated how upset he was at the treatment of employees at a catering company during a union organizing drive. On his work break, he posted the following on social media:

“Bob [supervisor] is such a NASTY MOTHER F****R don’t know how to talk to people!!!! F*** his mother and his entire f***ing family!!!! What a LOSER!!!! Vote YES for the UNION!!!!”

Management learned about the offensive post and, after investigation, fired the employee. The employee only had around 10 coworkers added but the post was public. However, an administrative law judge found the termination was in violation of the law as the comments were made under protected activities. The National Labor Relations Board upheld the decision and it was then taken to the Second Circuit.

The Second Circuit found they were in violation of the law under specific reasoning. The Court found that the company did not give discipline to workers that used profanity in the workplace, that the language was not used at any event or in front of customers, that the content was meant to urge readers to vote for the union and was protected, and that the termination came right before the election.

Even though the Court upheld the decision, it emphasized that these protections were on the outer limits of union-related comments and felt the Labor Board needed to be sensitive to employer’s legitimate concerns over these types of issues. It was also emphasized that there needs to be a balance between the interests of employers, employees, and the unions. Had the message not been in support of the union, had the employee been discharged at another time, or if the company did not allow profanity at work, the outcome may have been vastly different.

If you feel your rights as a worker are being violated, contact the Connecticut employment lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today. We will put our years of employment experience in Connecticut to work for you.


Pay Equity Bill Passes House in Connecticut, April 2017

In April of this year, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that is slated to improve pay equity between men and women. However, the bill is missing a key component that bars potential employers from asking about salary history, which many say is still a huge hindrance for women.

The drawback is said to come from the fact that until now, there has not been much pay equity between the genders. By knowing the salary history of an applicant, they can low ball the new offer based on those numbers. Since women have so far been underpaid compared to their counterparts, this unwittingly puts them at a huge disadvantage. However, the bill does include provisions for other important aspects of employment law for women. For instance, women in the workforce would have their same seniority and job titles when returning from pregnancy leave.

The provisions to bar employers from asking about pay history were taken out to make the bill more palatable for lawmakers. The legislation had gone under extensive redrafting prior to being voted in, which includes complaints that are based on gender to be reported with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The bill was ultimately approved in a 139-9 vote following a two-hour debate. It will now move onto the Senate.

As the bill is now written, it would:

  • Protect workers from having their previously earned wages against them as a defense against charges regarding inequity of pay.
  • Give clarity to how the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities can both investigate and act on complaints of discrimination.
  • Reinforce the current requirements for those performing similar duties to have comparable wages.
  • Protect women and men from losing seniority after taking maternity, paternity, or other family or medical leave that is protected by the law.

If you or someone you love has been discriminated against and are receiving less in wages due to your sex or gender, contact us today. At Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys understand the law and will use our experience to protect your right to comparable wages.


Recovering Lost Wages After an Injury

Los Angeles, California–September 5, 2016. Homeless woman arrested by police officers and handcuffed. Confrontations between transients and police on the rise as homeless population increases.

Whether you have been in a car accident or had a slip and fall accident, receiving medical treatment can take you out of work for some time. Even less severe accidents can subject a person to lost  wages and absence from work, both of which can have a huge impact on an individual’s ability to pay their bills. In more extreme circumstances, this can lead to falling behind in bills or even evictions and repossessions.

Following an accident, not everyone is eligible to recover their lost wages. Before filing for lost wages, understand you may be denied and even if you are awarded damages, the process is often a very long process. Because of this, it is a good rule of thumb not to rely on getting your award to pay off debts.

Submit a Claim for Loss of Income

In the event of a car accident, a victim can submit a car accident claim immediately. However, you will want to wait until you receive medical treatment to submit the form if you intend to file for lost wages. Simply put, you must incur a loss before you can claim the loss, even when it is easily foreseen.

It is also important to know that adjusters will need adequate time to investigate a claim before making an offer. When being investigated, you are not necessarily being accused of faking your losses. Instead, an insurance company needs time to assess what they believe the losses are. During this time, your insurance company may offer to pay some of your bills and will pressure the other insurance company to pay out the remainder of the claim.

At this point, it serves to have legal representation. By giving a lawyer all relevant information, they can put together the best evidence in an organized fashion that can help expedite a claim, or find you can claim more than you realize.

It Takes a Long Time

Be prepared for the investigation to take a long time. Depending on the accident, an investigation can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This means it will take even longer to receive lost wages.

Don’t leave it to the insurance companies to compensate your lost wages. Have a Connecticut personal injury lawyer at your side from the beginning stages. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we help our clients receive the compensation they deserve and put the pressure on the insurance companies to pay the costs.

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