If you are injured while working at your job, it’s important to understand that you are not responsible for the financial costs of covering those injuries. Injuries already inflict pain, suffering, and, in the least, inconvenience and interruption in your work life and daily life. Laws in Indiana govern workplace compensation and provide a system through which to compensate injured workers.
If you are injured while working, you should receive coverage for your medical treatment, lost wages, and a settlement based on your recovery experience. It’s important that these three separate areas are covered as part of your workers’ compensation, as you have the legal right to pursue them. So, let’s take a closer look at each.
Additionally, it is not always the case that workers’ compensation claims are adequately and easily paid out. You should contact an Indiana workers’ compensation attorney early in the process so that your rights and funding can be protected from the start.
Reporting an injury and covering medical expenses
If you’ve been injured while working, you should seek medical attention right away in order to begin treatment for whatever type of injury that you’ve experienced. You should also report an injury as soon as possible to your employer. Hold on to a copy of the report and keep copies of all communications related to your experience, including medical records, instructions, forms, and other information.
After an injury report is filed with your employer and its workers’ compensation carrier, your employer or its compensation carrier must pay for your medical treatments associated with the injury. This means that you should not be paying copays, out-of-pocket expenses, or other costs.
It’s important to follow all treatment guidelines issued by your doctor and medical team. Failing to follow guidelines could negatively affect your claim. Also, even if you feel that you’ve recovered, do not go back to work until your doctor clears you to be able to work.
What else is covered?
Be aware that workers’ compensation does not cover the full amount of your lost wages. Under workers’ compensation laws, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages for the time that you are out of work as a result of injury.
This compensation covers lost-wage pay, which is also called disability pay or temporary total disability pay. This pay continues for the duration of time that you’re off of work.
A doctor might clear you to go back to work but also say that certain activities must be avoided, such as lifting heavy objects. If your employer has only work-related activities that involve lifting heavy objects, then your disability pay should continue until you’re cleared to carry out the necessary work.
Your overall recovery process and experience might also be assigned an impairment rating, which is given by a doctor. An impairment rating relates to residual effects from an injury. For example, after recovery, you might be cleared to go back to work but could still have permanent or long-term injuries or hindrances in function. A broken bone, even when healed, might affect your range of mobility or strength capacity, for example. Such long-term consequences could be taken into consideration for your workers’ compensation claim and could increase your settlement.
Crossen helps workers get fair compensation
Ideally, workers should be able to be quickly and easily compensated for their injuries, lost wages, and disabilities that were the result of an injury that occurred while at work. However, employers can be reluctant to appropriately compensate injured workers because of the increased costs involved on their end and the decreased productivity required in order for injured workers to heal.
In addition to filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, contact the legal experts at the Crossen Law Firm to help make sure your compensation case is both successful and fair. We know the intricacies of Indiana workers’ compensation law, and we’ll fight to make sure that employers aren’t shortchanging your just compensation.
For a free consultation about your case, contact Crossen at 371-401-8626.
Video Transcript (blog version):
I get a lot of questions about what should I do if I’m injured in a work-related accident. We handle worker’s compensation cases all across the state of Indiana. There’s three things that you’re entitled to if you’re hurt while working. First, your employer or its worker’s compensation carrier must pay for all of your medical treatment. There’s no copays, there’s no out-of-pocket, there’s no expenses to you relating to medical treatment when you’re hurt while working. The second thing that you’re entitled to is lost-wage pay. We call that disability pay or temporary total disability pay.
You get the temporary total disability pay for as long as you’re off work completely, or off work with some restrictions that your employer cannot accommodate. So in other words, if the doctor put you back to work with no lifting over 10 pounds, and your employer doesn’t have any work of no lifting over 10 pounds, you will continue to stay at home, recover and receive that disability pay. The disability pay that you do receive is at two thirds of what your weekly gross earnings were so prior to taxes. So if you were earning $600 a week prior to paying taxes, your disability pay will be $400 a week. Now, the disability pay that you receive from the worker’s compensation carrier is tax free. So it’s almost as if you’re earning your gross wages and paying taxes on, but not quite.
So the first thing is, you get all your medical treatment paid for, the second thing is you get your disability pay when you’re off work completely or off work with restrictions your employer cannot accommodate. And the third and final thing that you get is a settlement based on how good or not so good of a recovery you have. This is typically, based on what we call an impairment rating that is assigned by a doctor. It’s extremely important to consult with a worker’s compensation lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases, what type of pay is involved, what type of impairments are involved to make sure that you get the best possible recovery under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.