What To Do When You Get Hurt At Work
- Get help. Call 911 or ask a colleague to call 911 or take you to the emergency room
- Tell your employer as soon as possible that you’ve been injured
- Decide if you want a lawyer to help. There is no fee for an attorney consultation so what do you have to lose?
The first two days after an injury can be overwhelming. You’ve started to panic because you realize you can’t work and if you don’t work you won’t get paid, and if you’re not paid there is there is no way you can pay your bills.
Retaining a lawyer is a smart way to go. Their fee will come from the monies they can obtain for you from Worker’s Compensation. It is possible for you to handle this yourself, but much of the paperwork is tricky and if you’re not at your best it will cost you.
- A Form 30C must be filed with Workman’s Compensation You can download it here: https://wcc.state.ct.us/download/acrobat/30c.pdf. It is essential that this form is filled out correctly. I can’t tell you how many people have come to me later asking me to try and fix the problems created by a 30C that was not filled out and mailed correctly. If you’re on the fence about retaining a lawyer, please, please, PLEASE talk to one before you try filing by yourself.
You have a year from the date of injury to file the 30C. This alerts your employer that you are filing a claim and that the Commissioner of Worker’s Compensation may order them to pay you compensation while you are unable to work, and also to cover your medical bills.
An attorney is paid 20% of whatever monies she or he can obtain for you. If you don’t retain an attorney, you can keep 100% of wage compensation, but you will be guessing if your claim is winnable in the first place and that you will be able to successfully navigate and negotiate everything by yourself. Remember, you will need to attend every Worker’s Compensation hearing, for example, where you will be facing a lawyer representing the other side, your employer’s side, who is trying to get your compensation denied, diminished, or ended.
- Choose your treating physician wisely, for it may be the only one you will have. Your employer may instruct you to go to a certain physician working with a certain health provider, but you do not have to accept their choice. HOWEVER, if you see the provider your employer recommended more than two or three times it will be considered your consent to treat with that physician for the duration of your care. This is the Commissioner’s discretion. If you retain a lawyer their office will provide you with a list of excellent doctors who are familiar with the Worker’s Compensation system.
- You must file a form called a 1-A as soon as possible, which is your tax form and is used to calculate what your rate of pay will be. Your compensation will be a percentage of that figure. Attorneys have access to calculators that the public does not and be able to calculate this rate to the penny. $25 or $30 more a week more may seem like peanuts but over the years can mean $5,000-10,000 more that you thought you were entitled to, but otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
On that Form 1-A, make sure you list your children and spouse. We do not get hurt alone; our families are hurt, too.
- Be on time for your doctor appointments! If you want people to take your injury seriously you must take your appointments seriously!
- Starting with the date of your injury, maintain mileage sheets for the distances you must drive for treatment. Submit those mileage reports monthly because if you sit on them for months, the insurance adjusters will sit on processing them for months and be slow to repay you.
I guess it is obvious by now that I think that anyone in Connecticut who is hurt at work should have a lawyer. Your job is to heal and get your life back on track, and ours is to deal with all the forms and deadlines, calls and correspondence, medical bills, court hearings and negotiations.
We want you well and happy again!