Being hurt at your place of work is an unfortunate experience for you and those who depend on you. Since you will still need to provide for yourself and your dependents, you should take action to ensure you are compensated accordingly. At first, you might be worried about job security and be reluctant to seek action against your employer. However, according to Indiana law, your employer should cater to your medical treatment and any other expenses arising from injuries you sustained while working. Here is a breakdown of some of the basics on Indiana workers compensation laws.
How To File A Claim a Workers Compensation Claim:
Inform your employer the moment you sustain injuries while working. You should inform your employer in writing. Law firm of Matheny Hahn & Denman will help you draft this notice and submit it to your employer in time. The written notice should be submitted no later than 30 days from when you sustained the injury. Otherwise, you risk losing your right to be compensated. You also need to discuss with your employer about getting the appropriate treatment. According to the law, your employer should pay for all your medical expenses as you wait for your case to be reviewed by the workmen’s compensation board.
How Do You Know If You Are Covered By Your Employer’s Workmen’s Compensation Insurance?
According to Indiana law, most employers should have a workmen’s compensation policy. In this insurance scheme, both employer and employee should adhere to the procurement of benefits associated with illness, personal injury, or death arising in the line of duty. If your employer has no workman’s compensation plan, they should bear a certificate allowing them to conduct business without any insurance policy. In such cases, the employer is liable for any workman’s compensation claim that is likely to arise.
The law requires your employer to put out a notice that informs workers that they are secured by workmen’s compensation policy. This notice should include the name and contacts of the insurance company or the party that will be administering the compensation claims.
Circumstances Under Which Your Benefits May Be Granted Or Denied
Being faithful to time frames, application procedures, and deadlines will ensure that you receive benefits in a workman’s compensation claim. However, in some situations, your claim may be denied. A worker who sustains injuries while committing an offense, intoxicated, failing to follow safety protocols, failing to comply with company policy, or through self-infliction, may not be compensated under workman’s compensation law. Also, employees who work as farmers, casual laborers, independent contractors, and household workers may be exempted from filing workmen’s compensation claims.
Your employer’s insurance company should decide whether your employer is liable and whether you are to be compensated within 30 days of informing them about your injury. If your claim has been rejected or no decision has been made, you should reach out to the workmen’s compensation board. Your employer’s insurance company may ask for additional time to decide your case from the board. The determination regarding your claim should be handed to you in writing.
What Benefits Are You Eligible To Receive?
Medical: You should be compensated for medical expenses incurred while treating your sustained injuries.
Income: You should be compensated for weekly income benefits if your injuries prevent you from showing up for work for over seven days. The following are some other benefits you are entitled to if you sustain serious injuries:
- Temporary Total Disability: You will receive 2/3 of your average weekly income every week while you are incapable of working due to your illness or injury
- Temporary Partial Disability: You will receive 2/3 of the difference from your current wage and your pre-injury wage if you are unable to execute your old job duties but can work in some other capacity for a lower wage. TPD payments go for 300 weeks.
- Permanent Total Disability: If your injury makes it impossible to work again, you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wage for up to 500 weeks
- Permanent Partial Disability: If you are permanently incapacitated but are still able to work, like where you have lost a finger, your compensation will be determined by Indiana statute.
- Benefits to your dependents: If a person succumbs to their injuries and dies, their dependents are entitled to a share of their weekly wage for a certain period. The employer is required to cater for funeral and burial expenses.
The Stages In the Claims Process
Make sure you inform your employer about the injury before 30 days lapse to ensure you are compensated. Your employer’s insurance company will decide whether you will receive the benefits or not. In case of a dispute, you can reach out to the ombudsman division for alternatives. If these resolution options do not work, you can appeal to the worker’s compensation board by filing a form called the Application for Adjustment. The statutory period for filing an Application for Adjustment is 2 years from the time you sustained your injuries. If you are not happy with the board’s decision, you can reach out to the court of appeal.
Settling Disputed Claims
Workers can resolve claims with a full settlement. This means that you forfeit the right to workers’ compensation benefits such as medical expenses, disability payments, and so on for a lump sum payment. The lump sum amount is the only compensation you will get for your injuries even when your condition gets worse in future. In some cases, you and your employer’s insurance company can agree on a structured payment. In this arrangement, you will receive payments in installments for a certain duration. This is beneficial if you sustain catastrophic injuries and cannot work again.
Settling Accepted Claims
Where there is no dispute, and your claim has been accepted, you and your employer’s insurance company will enter into a contract known as the Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer.
The agreement specifies the benefits you are supposed to receive and the amount you will get. Benefits are handed out on weekly or bi-weekly. You can also ask for a lump sum payment. However, asking for a lump sum payment does not mean you are not entitled to medical expenses or other related compensation. If your condition worsens, you can ask for additional compensation.
Reasons You Will Need To Hire An Attorney
It is important to have an experienced workers compensation attorney during the claims process. Not only will your lawyer ensure that you file your claim on time, but they will also help you go through the rigorous process of seeking compensation. Furthermore, with your attorney present, insurance brokers are less likely to give you an unfair ruling. The following are some of the benefits you can expect from law firm of Matheny Hahn & Denman:
- An explanation of the benefits you are entitled to under workers’ compensation law
- Advocate for you
- Take you through the process of filing an appeal
- Make sure you receive a fair compensation
If you have sustained injuries while at work, it is important, you take the necessary steps to claim compensation. Sometimes this may not be easy, and that is why you need a lawyer by your side. You will have to notify your employer about your injuries, and if the insurance provider’s decision is not satisfactory, you should appeal to the workers compensation board. It may take some time before you start receiving benefits, but you need to be persistent and hire a seasoned workers compensation lawyer such as Wilford Hahn of the law firm Matheny Hahn & Denman. Wilford Hahn has been assisting clients in the Huntington, IN, Wabash, IN, and surrounding areas with workers compensation benefits for more than 30 years.