Workers’ compensation is a right that should be granted to everyone. After all, most employees spend countless hours dedicating much of their time and energy to their job. Therefore, when someone gets injured on the job, it is only appropriate that the employer holds up their end of the bargain.
Unfortunately, that is rarely the case, which is why many of these matters end up in the hands of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
It is vital that you understand the facts regarding workers’ compensation. It is true that there is a lot of misunderstanding or confusion surrounding workers’ comp. Sometimes this is a deliberate attempt by the employer to confuse the victim into not receiving benefits. In other situations, the employee may not totally understand how different state laws impact workers’ compensation.
Thus, getting down to the truth is imperative. Here are the workers’ compensation facts that everyone who lives or works in Indiana should understand:
1. Workers’ Compensation Is a Type of Insurance
Workers’ compensation is not a right but rather a type of accident insurance. In other words, an employer enrolls in a worker’s compensation insurance plan as they would when creating a health insurance program for all of their employees.
Most employers in Indiana are required to have workers’ compensation by law. However, there are a few exceptions.
Nonetheless, workers’ compensation provides relief to employees that get sick or injured on the job. It not only provides financial relief to the injured party but also offers legal protection for the business owner. Therefore, make sure you understand the workers’ compensation policy of your employer, so you don’t encounter any unforeseen surprises if you do get sick or injured on the job.
2. Workers’ Compensation Also Protects the Employer
By law, most employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees. Workers’ compensation may provide medical, rehabilitation, and/or income benefits depending on the policy and injuries.
Additionally, workers’ compensation protects business owners in Indiana by reducing the liability of an employer in regards to work-related accidents. Consequently, most employers seek to avoid damaging litigation by not paying workers’ compensation claims, especially since Indiana law limits their liability or responsibility for the accident.
The laws are designed to prevent employers from refusing to pay workers’ compensation—yet that doesn’t prevent it from happening. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if you suspect foul play at (866) 926-2414.
3. Workers Are Covered With Benefits Beginning on Day 1
Workers’ compensation is not a privilege that you earn by putting in time with a company. If a supervisor or business owner tells you that you are ineligible for workers’ compensation because you haven’t been with the company long enough—they are dead wrong or being deliberately misleading.
Employees in Indiana are entitled to workers’ compensation from the first day on the job. In fact, whenever you are on the clock, an employer in Indiana must accept some form of responsibility for your actions. As a result, paying out workers’ compensation claims is the easiest way for both sides to settle any dispute.
Moreover, surviving family members may also claim workers’ compensation in the event of a workplace injury that leads to death. Furthermore, wrongful death lawsuits are a type of civil action that surviving members should pursue if an individual or the company is partially responsible.
Once again, contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer is the first place to start. Stewart & Stewart has represented many victims of workers’ compensation lawsuits and we demand nothing upfront. Meet with us today for free by calling (866) 926-2414.
4. Report Workplace Accidents Immediately To Avoid Losing the Benefits
One of the biggest mistakes sick or injured workers make is not reporting the incident quickly enough to supervisors. There are many explanations as to why this happens. A lot of workers are afraid of bringing up grievances with the organization. Moreover, the worker may mistake the injuries as being not that serious or attempt to hide them in an effort not to get reprimanded.
The bottom line—always report ANY accident to your direct supervisor immediately, even if the injuries sustained seem trivial.
Those that wait to report workplace injuries long after the incident may struggle to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Claims that are made 30 days or more following the injury may be denied.
Thus, never delay filing an official claim. Seek medical attention immediately to make sure the injuries are not serious or life-threatening. Workers’ compensation benefits can help cover medical costs after the incident if you lack health insurance or are concerned about how you will afford the treatment.
5. Seek Medical Treatment Through the Employer Medical Provider
Another common mistake that workers make when sustaining an injury on the job is seeking medical treatment outside the network that is covered by the insurance of the employer. For this reason, sometimes the employer is unable to cover the medical expenses in the same way as if you had gone through a provider in their network.
In Indiana, the employer determines medical care. As a result, you should seek emergency care or follow-up treatment with the hospital network within the workers’ compensation insurance. You can obtain this information by reading the official workers’ compensation policy at work or by simply asking a supervisor what medical facilities are covered in the event of an injury.
6. Workers’ Compensation Can Replace Lost Wages for a Substantial Amount of Time
One fear of sick or injured victims is that if they don’t return to work immediately, they’ll lose their benefits. It is unfounded due to Indiana law that not only requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance but also provides benefits for a substantial length of time.
Workers that are unable to return for more than seven days following the incident are entitled to weekly income benefits in Indiana. Furthermore, if you are temporarily disabled, the state can pay out two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the past 52 weeks. As a result, workers’ compensation can protect you and your family for several months following the accident.
Workers’ compensation is not taxable in Indiana. However, injured employees only receive two-thirds of the average weekly wage to account for the difference.
7. Workers’ Compensation Claimants Should Consider Legal Representation
The hope is that your workers’ compensation claim will get filed and processed without any hiccups. After all, it only adds insult to injury when a person that cannot work is also deprived of compensation.
For this reason, do not hesitate to contact a worker’s compensation lawyer if you are haggling with an employer or the state over benefits. These attorneys specialize in workers’ compensation lawsuits to grant you the income that you deserve.
Contact Stewart & Stewart today to see how we can assist your claim. We are available 24/7 with zero obligation—call now at (866) 926-2414.