If injured at work in Stratford, you are covered by Connecticut’s workers’ compensation law. This law includes valuable benefits, such as wage replacement, medical treatment, prescription coverage, and compensation for permanent injury and loss. Every employee is fully covered under workers’ compensation. So, if you have been injured in a Stratford workplace accident, we encourage you to immediately report your injury and contact our office right away.
Stratford Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you have been injured in a Stratford workplace accident, you may be eligible to receive the following benefits:
- Medical Treatment: You have the right to receive all necessary medical care and treatment for your injuries. All bills and prescription medicines for your necessary medical care should be fully paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. These bills are not your responsibility.
- Job Retraining: If you cannot return to the same job because of the extent of your injuries, you can receive free vocational rehabilitation.
- Temporary Total Disability: When you miss time from work due to an injury, you are eligible to receive these wage replacement benefits.
- Temporary Partial Disability: When you can perform some work, but not the same kind of work, or the same number of hours that you worked before their injury, you can receive this benefit.
- Permanent Partial Disability: This is paid to the injured worker who has sustained a permanent partial loss of body part use as the result of their workplace injury. The exact amount of the benefit that will be received is based upon the body part that was injured, the doctor’s determination of the percentage of that body part that has been disabled, and the employee’s basic workers’ compensation rate.
Facing Contested Claims
We hope your employer doesn’t challenge your workers’ compensation claim. However, if they do contest your claim, our workers’ compensation system provides for an administrative process to resolve any disputes. There is no jury for workers’ compensation cases. Instead, an Administrative Law Judge serves as an impartial mediator and factfinder. By law, the Administrative Law Judges are nominated by the Governor. Then, the General Assembly confirms them.
There are two levels of administrative hearings. The first level of the administrative hearing is referred to as an Informal Hearing. An Informal Hearing is a conference held at a District Office before an Administrative Law Judge. The purpose of this informal conference is for the parties to negotiate and resolve their disputes in workers’ compensation cases or for the Administrative Law Judge to make recommendations to the parties as to how to resolve their disputes. These conferences, which are not recorded, typically last fifteen minutes. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the issue moves onward to a Formal Hearing.
In Formal Hearings, which are like court trials, witnesses can testify under oath and exhibits are submitted into evidence. Before the Formal Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will hold a Pre-Formal Hearing to attempt to resolve issues and disputes ahead of the Formal Hearing. After the Formal Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a written decision – either a “Finding and Award,” or a “Finding and Dismissal.” In the written decision, the Administrative Law Judge decides facts and renders conclusions of law. The written decision is binding upon both parties unless either party takes an appeal to the Compensation Review Board (known as the CRB).
Only a small number of cases get appealed each year to the CRB, which is made up of a panel of two Administrative Law Judges and the Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman. The CRB does not re-try the case again on appeal. Instead, it determines if the Administrative Law Judge applied the correct principles of law in their decision. The CRB is unlikely to overturn a decision based upon the submitted evidence at the Formal Hearing.
The Help You Need
If injured in a workplace accident in Stratford, you have rights under Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act. You aren’t alone in this process. Our attorneys can guide you through the claims process to ensure that you receive all benefits that you are entitled to receive. We are here to help.