Most employers throughout the U.S. are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers with at least one employee to carry this coverage.
Workers’ comp covers medical expenses, some lost wages, vocational training if necessary and more for employees who suffer an injury on the job or a medical condition caused by something that happened or that they were exposed to in their work.
Some injuries are obvious immediately – for example, if someone falls off a ladder. Others take time to appear – for instance, if regular lifting of heavy objects causes a muscle tear. The same can happen with illnesses. A nurse who is sprayed with blood from a patient with a highly dangerous, communicable disease may know right away that they could be in danger, for example. Whereas, some workers are exposed to toxic chemicals over a lengthy period of time and suffer consequences only after months or years on the job.
All of these conditions typically qualify employees to receive workers’ comp benefits regardless of their age, immigration status, how many hours they work and how long they’ve been with an employer.
Many employees don’t realize that workers’ comp is available in most cases even if they were at fault for their injury or illness. Maybe a person who fell off a ladder didn’t ask someone to hold it for them as they should have, for example. The injury victim is still entitled to benefits, even if they were in the wrong, unless the employee was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when they were injured or another exception to their situation applies.
Workers’ comp is also available if an employee’s underlying medical condition made them more “predisposed” to suffer an injury or medical condition or aggravated a preexisting condition in ways that made it more serious.
When are injuries suffered during travel covered?
This blog has previously discussed the “going and coming” rule. This means that an employee typically can’t expect to get workers’ comp if they’re involved in a car crash on the way to or from work. If, however, they’re traveling somewhere as part of their work duties (whether it’s traveling to a conference or leaving a worksite to get supplies), that’s generally considered part of their job.
This is just a brief overview of when an employee’s injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions or concerns about being able to apply for workers’ comp, if you believe you’ve been wrongfully denied the benefits to which you’re entitled or if you’ve suffered retaliation by your employer for seeking workers’ comp, it can be worthwhile to seek experienced legal guidance to better understand and protect your rights.