Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why is it Important for my Connecticut Lawyer to be a Worker's Compensation Specialist?

There are several factors that are important when selecting an attorney. First, you want someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in handling injury cases (versus an attorney who is a "jack of all trades, and master of none"). Just as you would not go to your family doctor for back surgery; you should not trust any attorney with your Hartford, Connecticut area Workers’ Compensation claim. James Aspell concentrates on Connecticut workers' compensation. We have handled and successfully resolved hundreds of personal injury and workers' compensation through trial, arbitration and mediation. The Workers’ Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association has created the Workers’ Compensation Certification Program to help the public to identify attorneys who are competent, experienced, and skilled in the area of workers’ compensation law and to raise the level of practice in this area of the law. Jim Aspell is a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist. He has been so designated since the project's inception in 2005 and he was one of the first lawyers in the State named to this honor. This is an honor reserved for attorneys who demonstrate the highest knowledge of and commitment to the practice of Workers’ Compensation Law. Currently, in Connecticut, there are less than 60 attorneys who have achieved this designation. The Legal Specialization Screening Committee and the Rules Committee of the Superior Court have approved the CBA’s certification program. This approval process insures that our program has met the court’s strict standards. See the links below for more information. Attorneys who have attained the designation "Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist" have satisfied the following requirements: demonstrated that no less than twenty-five percent of their total practice has been in the area of workers’ compensation law; engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut for at least five years and been a member in good standing of each bar in which the attorney is admitted; maintained a malpractice policy with minimum limits of $300,000 per occurrence; have a satisfactory disciplinary and malpractice history; participated in a minimum of thirty-six hours of continuing legal education activities in the area of workers’ compensation law in the three years prior to filing the application; have a minimum of five references from other attorneys knowledgeable regarding the applicant’s practice and competence; and have passed a rigorous one-day written examination. Only attorneys who have been formally certified may use the designation "Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist" on business cards, letterhead, and other printed advertisements. See, Certification You should feel comfortable with your attorney’s abilities as well as the attention paid to you and your case. At The Law Offices of James F. Aspell, P.C. you can be confident that we have the experience and also know that you can call the attorney at any time if you have a question or problem. We promise to work hard to get you the maximum benefits the law allows so that you can get back to the life you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mileage Reimbursement Rate to Drop.

The IRS has issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups, or panel trucks) are: 54 cents per mile for business miles driven (down from 57.5 cents in 2015) 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 23 cents in 2015) 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged from last year) The drop in rates for 2016 reflects lower gas prices. Workers’ Compensation Travel Reimbursement Rates Connecticut workers’ compensation law requires employers to furnish or pay for transportation for an injured employee traveling to and from medical care. If the claimant uses a private vehicle, he or she must be reimbursed for mileage at the federal mileage reimbursement rate set by the General Services Administration. The GSA and IRS rates are often very close or the same, so it is likely that the workers’ compensation travel reimbursement rate will drop in 2016. The GSA typically publishes its new rates in the Federal Register the last week of December; those rates are effective Jan. 1.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Rationale Behind Worker's Compensation Systems

Connecticut Workers compensation is a no-fault system. The worker doesn’t have to prove the employer was negligent to make a workers compensation claim, and a worker can make a claim even if he or she was negligent in some way and that negligence contributed to the injury. As long as the person suffered a type of work-related injury covered by the Workers Compensation Act, he or she can make a claim. Generally speaking, covered injuries are those that: Arise from the employment — Injuries must have a direct causal relationship with some danger or risk of the employment and must be job-related In the course of employment — Injuries have to happen while the employee is working, at a location the employee is at because of his or her employment, and under circumstances required by the employment When a claim is approved, available benefits can take a number of forms in Connecticut. Workers compensation can cover: Medical care related to the injury Temporary total or partial disability benefits when the injury leaves you unable to work or working light duty for some time period Permanent total or partial disability benefits if you are either permanently unable to work or have some permanent disability or disfigurement but can work Vocational rehabilitation benefits Death benefits for family members of workers who are killed in Connecticut work-related accidents Why Workers Compensation? The rise of industry is the foundation of much of the world we know today. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries as mechanization and mass production become increasingly more commonplace, jobs shifted from agriculture to factories, bringing people to cities for work. Places such as Hartford County boomed and expanded. But those early factories could be dangerous places for workers — and when a worker was disabled in those days, there was no safety net when that person could no longer do his or her job. Workers who were injured, maimed, or disabled in workplace accidents had to sue their employers and prove negligence to recover any kind of compensation for their injuries. Proving those cases was challenging, and an employer could counter that the injured worker was negligent or assumed the risk of doing the job, or that another employee was negligent. If the employer won, the disabled worker was left with nothing and no way to earn wages. If the worker won, there were no limits to the employer’s liability and one bad injury could put an employer out of business — perhaps costing hundreds of jobs. It was a system that was risky for both employer and employee. The workers compensation system came into being as a way to try to balance the needs of injured workers with those of employers. Laws governing workers compensation grew out of social and industrial reform movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The idea was that workers who suffer disabling injuries in the workplace shouldn’t be financially ruined when an accident on the job renders them unable to work, but that employers also shouldn’t be driven out of business by a lawsuit verdict. The Role of an Attorney Even though workers compensation claims don’t typically involve lawsuits or courts, there is nonetheless a specific legal process involved in making a claim. There may be an opportunity to settle a claim with your employer, and an experienced workers compensation attorney can help ensure you get the best possible settlement. If you try to go it alone, you may end up with less than you deserve. If you need to attend a hearing on your claim, having a Board Certified Connecticut Worker's Compensation Specialist may gives you a better chance at the compensation you need and deserve. Sometimes your work-related injury will involve a third party who is not your employer, and you may have the option to pursue a claim against that third party in a civil court. An attorney experienced with Connecticut personal injury and workers compensation claims can discuss with you whether you might have a claim against someone other than your employer. Workers Compensation Workers Compensation Information Workers Compensation Overview How Do Workers Compensation Claims Work? Documenting & Proving a Workers Comp Claim Keeping Your Job Third-Party Lawsuits Third-Party Wrongful Death Claims Workers Compensation FAQs Types of Workers Comp Injuries Types of Workers Comp Benefits Earning your trust Finding an attorney can be overwhelming. You can trust the Hartford Connecticut Worker's Compensation injury team at The Law Offices of James F. Aspell, handle your case with the compassion and respect you deserve.

Injured At Work in Connecticut. Now What?

If you are injured on the job in Connecticut, the Connecticut Worker's Compensation Act requires you to file a Notice of Claim (Form 30C) with your employer and the Connecticut Worker's Compensation Commission withing 1 year of an accidental injury. This important step can make or break you case. If you have any questions about what you must do if you are injured in Hartford Country or elsewhere in Connecticut, call me at 860-523-8783. The call is free and we offer free consultations in our West Hartford worker's compensation office. If more than a year has elapsed since you got hurt, please call us anyways. Ins some instances there are exceptions to the rule and if at all possible, we will take steps to protect your interests in your
Connecticut Worker's Comp case even late in the game.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Role Of Experts in Worker's Compensation

Workers' compensation in Connecticut pays for injuries when employees can prove that their injuries arose out of and during the course of their employment. Injured workers, in other words, must adequately show that a workplace injury accident was a substantial cause in the harm that they suffered. In a situation where it is unclear whether the employee's medical condition was caused by a workplace injury, medical testimony has to be presented. This expert testimony has to show that there was a reasonable probability that the condition was caused by an injury at work and must be based upon other competent evidence. Speculation and conjecture, however, cannot play a significant role in the expert's medical opinion. Expert testimony drawing a connection between the condition and a workplace accident has to be based upon other non-medical facts in evidence, such as what happened and the symptoms displayed by the claimant. There are no criteria on the facts that have to be considered if the facts are based upon proper evidence. The Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commissioner may choose to believe and choose differing accounts and evidence. In an opinion issued in September of this year, a Connecticut appeals court ruled that medical testimony was competent to find that the workers' compensation claimant suffered a work-related hearing loss even though an expert did not review medical records indicating that the worker did not complain of hearing loss and dizziness near the time of the accident. The expert in this case relied upon his own examination and medical tests. Other evidence included the claimant's description of the workplace accident and symptoms. Source: casetext, "Story v. Woodbury, AC 37111 (Sept. 15, 2015)," Accessed Oct. 19, 2015